- Deven Dutta, 73, died of his injuries after he was thrashed on Saturday
- IMA has called a strike, including withdrawal of emergency services
- The tea estate in Assam's Jorhat has been locked down for now
Two days after the doctor of a tea estate in Assam was beaten to death by a mob of 250, 21 people have been arrested, the police said. The Indian Medical Association has called a strike, including withdrawal of emergency services, on Tuesday. The tea estate in Assam's Jorhat, 300 km from main city Guwahati, has been locked down for now by the management over safety concerns.
Deven Dutta, 73, died of his injuries after he was thrashed on Saturday by the workers of the tea estate because he was not present when a temporary worker died at the estate hospital.
"The garden doctor was assaulted following the death of Somra Majhi, who was being treated at the estate's hospital," Jorhat Deputy Commissioner Roshni Aparanji Korati said.
Somra Majhi, the 33-year-old worker, was taken to the hospital in a critical state around noon on Saturday. At the time, Dr Dutta was not at the hospital and the pharmacist was also on leave. The nurse on duty administered saline. The worker died shortly afterwards.
When Dr Dutta arrived at 3:30 pm, angry workers thrashed him and locked him up in a room in the hospital. The mob allegedly even cut him with glass shards. He was rescued by the police but he died on the way to hospital.
The senior most doctor in Jorhat, Dr Dutta had retired long ago and was serving on extension at the tea estate.
Teok Tea Estate is a tea garden under Amalgamated Plantations Pvt Ltd, an enterprise carved out of Tata Tea Ltd.
Healthcare services in Jorhat were hit today as doctors in government and private hospitals stayed away from work to protest. However, services in the emergency and the Outpatient Department (OPD) were unaffected, news agency PTI reported.
The West Bengal Doctors' Forum condemned the killing. "Dr Dutta had involved himself in the service of his community even after retirement. The people he served thanked him by murdering him in front of the police," it said in a statement.
The doctors' forum said that the community served by Dr Dutta "did not hesitate even once while beating him to extinction".
The forum's statement on the incident was particularly scathing. "It took paramilitary forces to evacuate an injured man... such is the strength of the mob in India. Such is the nature of gratitude and natural justice in India. Such is the state of security for medical practitioners in India. In glorious India, the mobs remain our future patients," it read, adding that doctors are "not appreciated in India any longer".