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‘Posting’ of tainted doc sparks protest

Residents protest outside the Brahmeswar municipal hospital in Bhubaneswar. Telegraph picture

Bhubaneswar, Feb. 8: Residents of Brahmeswarpatna area today staged a protest against the posting of a doctor in the local municipality hospital as he had been recently accused of molesting a female patient at a similar facility in the Old Town area.

However, the chief municipal medical officer said the doctor had been on leave and people of Brahmeswarpatna were protesting as they anticipated his transfer to their area.

Around 150 people, mostly women of Basuaghai, Brahmeswarpatna and nearby areas, gheraoed the hospital and protested against the posting of the doctor in their area. However, their plan to gherao the doctor fell through as he did not come to the hospital.

“The doctor had allegedly molested a female patient on February 4 while treating her for severe stomach pain. The victim might have been forced to compromise, but we do not want this doctor to be posted at the hospital in our area,” said Pusalata Das, leader of the protesting group.

Doctor Manoj Tripathy, 45, who was posted in the municipality hospital in the Old Town area, had been booked for molesting the 35-year-old married woman who was consulting him for stomach pain.

Mahila police had arrested and booked him under section 354 (criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) of the Indian Penal Code.

Though the police forwarded him to court, the victim and her husband filed a compromise petition, following which the doctor was granted bail.

“We treat doctors as gods as they save our lives. But doctors like Tripathy are a threat to women. We learnt that he had joined this hospital yesterday. So we came here to protest,” said Sulochana Das, another agitator. She said all women organisations and groups had been opposing the doctor’s posting in the hospital.

The protesters said if the authorities insisted on posting him in their area, they would stage bigger protests. Sources said people at VSS Nagar and Unit IV had also opposed the doctor’s transfer to the hospitals in their areas.

However CMMO Dinabandhu Sahoo said since the molestation incident was reported, the doctor had been on leave. “We have not transferred him anywhere. We have written to the health department to take steps as per the procedure,” said Sahoo.