After a doctor was attacked at Bengaluru's Minto Eye Hospital earlier this month on Karnataka Rajyotsava by a pro-Kannada outfit, the Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute (BMCRI) has appointed home guards for hospitals under the institution.
The Medical Education Department took the decision after the attack on a female doctor led to a mass protest by the doctors demanding safety and justice for them.
According to reports, 31 home guards would be deployed at Victoria Hospital, Vanivilas Women and Children Hospital, Minto Ophthalmic Hospital, Super Speciality Hospitals and Trauma Care Center. The BMCRI hospitals have upgraded their security measures and will now have surveillance cameras, public address system (PA) for the doctors to communicate with their colleagues and panic buttons in case of an attack.
What led to the deployment?
A doctor from Kerala, who was doing her post-graduation at BMRCI, was assaulted at Minto Hospital inside Victoria Hospital campus by the members of Kannada Raksha Vedike (KRV) as she did not speak in Kannada. The doctors of Victoria hospital and medical students held a week-long protest and boycotted outpatient services and elective surgeries at the hospital.
Kannada Rakshana Vedike was supporting a protest held by the people who lost their eyesight after cataract surgeries held in July at the hospital. Around 24 patients developed severe infections following the surgery and two of the patients lost their eyesight. An argument broke out between the KRV activists and the doctor, which led to the assault.
Dean of BMCRI Dr HS Satish had filed a complaint against the unknown members of the outfit with VV Puram Police, based on which an FIR was filed. He had said that when the government is providing medical seats to students from All India quota, it is unfair to expect the students to learn the local language immediately.
The Indian Medical Association (IMA), Karnataka, also took part in the protest and declared a state-wide bandh of non-emergency services demanding the state government to arrest the KRV activists within two days. The strike was called off after the suspects surrendered themselves before the police.