Tripura spitting case: 4 arrested

Four people in Tripura were arrested on Tuesday for allegedly abusing and spitting on a woman doctor at a health facility here, police said.

There was an additional government advocate among these four who had earlier tested Covid positive. They were arrested after the completion of their seven-day institutional quarantine.

The victim was West Tripura District Health Surveillance Officer Sangita Chakraborty. The incident was reported from a government-run Covid Care Centre (CCC) here when she had gone on July 24 to admit five women who had given birth only a day earlier, the police officer said.

Chakraborty also told the media: “One of the patients rinsed his mouth and spat on my head from the roof of the Covid care centre, forcing me to rush inside the centre.”

She said they had reached the care centre with a health department team and police personnel to admit the new patients when a group of people, men and women, obstructed their way and claimed that there were no beds vacant at the centre.

“When requested by the other doctors and nurses to return to their beds, some of them started agitating using filthy language, spat on me and threatened to touch me and infect me with coronavirus,” the health officer said.

Tripura Health and Family Welfare Department Director Radha Debbarma said that the authority would take stern action against the accused.

Stating that Chakraborty, a young doctor, worked hard to take care of COVID-19 and other patients, Debbarma told IANS: “We will not tolerate any unruliness in the health institutions and Covid care centres.”

Demanding ‘exemplary punishment’, the All Tripura Government Doctors’ Association (ATGDA) general secretary Rajesh Choudhury said they had raised the issue with higher authorities, including Sanjay Kumar Rakesh, Additional Chief Secretary (in-charge of the Health and Family Welfare Department). “If they failed to take any action, we would take appropriate legal steps,” Choudhury told IANS.

Tripura Law and Education Minister Ratan Lal Nath has promised legal action against all those who ill-treated the woman doctor.