Calcutta Medical College doctor ‘thrashed’ for mask-up request
A doctor attached to the Calcutta Medical College was allegedly beaten up by a co-passenger for requesting the latter to wear a mask when they were aboard a Krishnagar-bound local train on Tuesday afternoon.
Dr Jayanta Sarkar, 44, a resident of Nadia district’s Chakdah, and associated with the department of pathology of the Calcutta Medical College, suffered injuries on his face, neck and shoulders.
The doctor had been on his way to a relative’s home in Krishnagar when the incident occurred. Once the train reached Krishnagar station, he reportedly contacted GRP personnel who sent him to Nadia district hospital for treatment.
At the Krishnagar GRP office later, the doctor filed a complaint against his co-passenger, Samar Bhattacharyya, 59, a state government employee in Krishnagar. The accused lodged a counter complaint, alleging the doctor’s behaviour had been abusive, GRP sources said.
Both the allegations are being probed.
Sources said the row started when Bhattacharyya boarded the Krishnagar-bound train at Taherpur station without wearing a mask.
“The elderly man was part of a group of daily passengers and was talking without wearing a mask. He was seated close to me. I humbly asked him several times since there is still a strong Covid threat with a new variant of the virus (omicron). But he began abusing me. When I protested, he attacked me, tore my mask and thrashed me. Some of his co-passengers also indulged his behaviour,” the doctor alleged.
He added, however, that some other passengers supported him and rescued him from the passenger’s blows.
“They also helped me to draw the attention of the GRP and gave their statement to police when the train reached Krishnagar,” the doctor added.
The accused refused to speak.
A Krishnagar GRP officer said they had received both the complaints and were probing them.. “The investigation is at a preliminary stage. No case has been started so far,” he said.
When asked if the GRP did enough to book train passengers who did not wear masks, the officer said: “Police can do little unless people become aware of the need to wear masks in public places.”