Medical College Doctor Beaten Up On Train For Asking Co-Passenger To Wear Mask

Dr Jayanta Sarkar in Krishnanagar on Tuesday

Krishnanagar, Dec. 7: A doctor attached to Calcutta Medical College was allegedly beaten up by a co-passenger on a train since he advised him to travel wearing a mask as a Covid safety measure.

The incident occurred on Tuesday when the doctor and the accused were travelling on a Krishnagar bound local train. The victim, Jayanta Sarkar, 44, a resident of Chakdaha, was going to his sister’s inlaw’s house in Krishnanagar town.

Sarkar, associated with the Department of Pathology of the Medical College, suffered injuries on his face, neck and shoulder being attacked by the errant passenger, who identified himself as an employee of the state Public Works Department

Once the train reached Krishnagar rail station, the doctor drew the attention of the GRP personnel, who literally rescued him and taken to Nadia District hospital in the town.

He was later taken to the Krishnagar GRP office and lodged a complaint against the errant passenger. Police later identified the accused passenger as Subrata Bhattacharyya, 59, an elderly state government employee posted in Krishnagar. The accused also lodged a counter-complaint accusing the doctor of abusive behaviour, GRP sources in Krishnagar said.

Contention developed when the accused person board the Krishnagar bound train at the Taherpur station without wearing a mask. After the train reached Badkulla, the accused seated beside the doctor causing sheer uneasiness being without a mask.

“The elderly man was part of a daily passenger group and talking without wearing a mask sitting close to me. I humbly asked him on a number of occasions to wear a mask since there is still a strong Covid threat with a new variant of the virus entering our country. But he cared little and began abusing me. When I protested he attacked, tore my mask and thrashed me on my face. Some of his team members were providing him indulgence that prompted him to act in a quite unusual manner despite his age”.

“However, some other passengers came in my support and protested their act, who also saved me and helped to draw the attention of the GRP personnel and categorically given their statement before police when the train reached Krishnagar”, the doctor further said.

The accused person, who was found visibly embarrassed, however, refused to speak.

Some passengers who were travelling in the train alleged that a section of daily passengers often behaves aggressively being in a group and travel without wearing masks. “They used to abuse persons whoever advice them to wear masks. Police also prefer to remain blind over them”, a passenger said.

A Krishnagar GRP official said, “We have received two complaints. One from the doctor and the other from the person who has been accused by him. We are examining the veracity of the complaints. The investigation is at a preliminary stage. No case has been started so far”.

Meanwhile, members of the Indian Medical Association’s Krishnanagar unit have condemned the incident. “We will talk to the GRP authorities and appeal them to show complacency in the matter. At the same time, we will ensure all necessary legal supports to the brutalised doctor, if required”, a member of the association said.

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