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A doctor's arrest in Chennai provokes anger, protests

Chennai A section of doctors in Chennai have announced a protest demonstration on April 6 to protest the arrest of a 70-year-old doctor a few days ago. Dr Karunanidhi was arrested on March 28 after he stopped a police sub-inspector from entering the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of a hospital with his shoes on. He was later released on bail.

The policeman had gone to the Apollo Hospital ahead of Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa's visit to meet media baron Sivanthi Adithan, who is admitted there. Dr Karunanidhi is the personal physician of Mr Adithan.

He was booked for assaulting and preventing government official from discharging duty. The protesters want the case against the doctor, a retired government doctor, is withdrawn and action against the police officer.

DMK chief M Karunanidhi condemned the move and demanded "action against those responsible" and "unconditional withdrawal of charges" against the doctor.

"The police team was there as part of the security arrangements ahead of the Chief Minister's visit. Dr Karunanidhi actually asked the police officers not to enter the ICU and there was an altercation. He's not part of the Apollo Hospitals and he has no locus standi to direct the police. The doctors there were wearing shoes too," Deputy Commissioner of Police Mr Pagalavan told NDTV.

A senior doctor who did not want to be named told NDTV, "As personal physician of a patient, Dr Karunanidhi was well within his rights to ask security personnel to not enter the ICU with shoes on. It's arrogant and vindictive on the part of the police to slap a case of this kind against a doctor who only did his duty."

Hospital sources, meanwhile, say that Dr Karunanidhi is not with them, he was at the ICU only as the personal physician of Dr Adithan.

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