The Indian Medical Association (IMA), in a statement released on January 6, condemned an attack on the medical personnel, who had rushed to treat injured students, following the violence at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in New Delhi.
Dr Harjit Singh Bhatti of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) shared the statement released by IMA via his Twitter handle. He highlighted the medical body's opposition to the current situation, calling it a "total anarchy and breakdown of law and order". He noted that medical facilities which are supposed to safe even in war zones, are not protected under the current regime.
"The situation in the country smacks of total anarchy and breakdown of law and order is complete. If doctors and nurses are not safe in the capital of the country it speaks volumes about the governance and lack of it," the IMA said in the release.
On the night of January 5, several unidentified people entered the JNU campus and attacked students and teachers. Many who were injured during the violent attack, including JNU Students' Union (JNUSU) President Aishe Ghosh and a professor, were rushed to AIIMS.
Reiterating its stand that doctors and nurses have the right of way to treat the injured, the medical body pointed out to the "conscious decision of the Home Ministry to block a central law against violence against doctors and hospitals". IMA demanded that the Home Ministry ensures safety and security of doctors who are reaching out to the injured and the wounded.
The statement was signed by the National President, IMA, Dr Rajan Sharma and its Secretary General Dr RV Asokan.
Dr Bhatti told CNBC-TV18 that after he received a call from a PhD student at JNU, he saw about 10 to 15 students at the AIIMS Trauma Centre.
Following up on information that they received about other students being beaten up at JNU, he said that AIIMS sent ambulances to the university campus. However, only after thorough checking did the police let the ambulances pass.
He added that their doctors were humiliated and prevented from entering the campus, where they had arrived to offer medical assistance.