Bhopal: A group of sanitation workers in Madhya Pradesh were attacked by a mob of locals in Dewas district on Friday, while a medical team of three health workers on COVID-19 duty was attacked by a man in Indore on Saturday.
The shocking attacks come weeks after similar incidents in the state in which healthcare workers and civic officials were attacked locals when they went to screen residents for coronavirus.
Disturbing visuals show the mob holding sticks and surrounding the sanitation worker, pushing and pulling him. The man, with his shirt is ripped apart, is helpless as the mob with sticks drags him. One man, Adil, who police say is the main accused, has been arrested, his brother is missing.
"Sanitation workers from the municipal corporation were working in Koyla Mohalla. Adil attacked Deepak and his colleagues with an axe. When he tried to hold the axe, he got injured. Doctors referred him to Dewas on his complaint. We have registered a case of attempt to murder and under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act," police officer Sajjan Singh said.
In the second incident in Indore, a medical team of three health workers on COVID-19 duty was attacked by a man in Indore on Saturday. The incident comes days after health workers were pelted with stones by locals in Indore after they tried to screen residents of a locality for coronavirus.
The team had gone to the Vinoba Nagar area for a COVID-19 survey on Saturday when the accused, who has been identified as Paras, approached them and an argument broke out following which he snatched the mobile phone of a health official and damaged it.
One of the locals who intervened in the matter reportedly suffered a stab injury. “I was in the front and recording a video so he snatched my phone and smashed it on the ground,” said one of the team members. “We have complained to the Palasia police station for filing a case against him,” she said.
The police, however, claimed that it was a feud between two neighbours and incidentally the medical team present on the spot got involved in the altercation.
The health team at the time of the altercation was carrying out a survey and was recording a video. So, the man thought they were recording the act. He snatched woman’s phone and broke it, but did not attack her,” said DIG Indore HN Mishra, adding that the accused has been booked under the relevant sections of the IPC.
Locals claimed that Kamal and Paras are neighbours who had some dispute over selling liquor illegally amid the lockdown and eventually an argument broke out on Saturday. “When the health team was recording video, Paras thought they were government officials who would report the matter to the police, hence he snatched the phone and broke it,” said one local. Paras is on the run since the incident.
Meanwhile, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan directed the police to arrest the accused at the earliest.
Earlier this month, healthcare workers and civic officials were attacked by a mob of angry locals in an Indore neighbourhood as they visited the area to screen residents for signs of novel coronavirus infection. Two women doctors were injured in the attack and had to be rescued by police. Before that, locals in in Indore allegedly spat at officials and abused them during screening procedures.
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