The Chennai police on Friday said that the stringent Goondas Act has been levelled against 14 people, including a woman, arrested recently in a case in connection with the alleged attack against health care workers while protesting against the burial of a doctor who died of coronavirus.
In a press release by the city police, Commissioner of Police A K Viswanathan said that the 14 people who have been slapped with the Goondas Act were a repeat offender and had a history of being involved in criminal activities. He said that they had been detained as a part of the police’s measures to curb criminal activities in the city.
The accused were earlier charged for attacking the ambulance driver and damaging the vehicle when the neurosurgeon Dr Simon’s body was taken for burial in a city area last month. A total of 20 people were hauled up in the case.
The mob violence by the 20 protesters had attracted widespread condemnation, triggering the government to promulgate an ordinance making acts such as preventing or attempting to block the burial or cremation of those who died of the deadly contagion a punishable offence. Besides having a fine, the ordinance carried a jail term from one to three year.
Mob violence in Anna Nagar over the burial of Coronavirus infected doctor
The local residents in Chennai demanded that the body be buried somewhere else, as the deceased died of Wuhan Coronavirus infection. They remained resolute in their stand, even after police intervention. When the body of Dr Simon was taken to Velangadu burial ground in Anna Nagar, the hospital staff were faced with similar resistance from the locals.
A group of 50 locals engaged in a verbal confrontation with the medics. Two staff members were assaulted and the ambulance was vandalised. Reportedly, a health worker sustained head injuries. The medics had to flee the burial site and take the body back to the hospital morgue. The injured staff members are now being treated at the KMC hospital. Around 1:40 am in the night, the deceased was laid to rest Velangadu burial ground in Anna Nagar.
Police Action against mob that indulged in violence over Coronavirus infected doctor
A total of 20 people have been arrested for mob violence by the Chennai police under the Epidemic Diseases Act and several Indian Penal Code Sections such as 147 (Rioting), 148 (Armed with Deadly Weapons), 307 (Attempt to Murder) and 332 (Obstructing a Public Servant).
“This is a shameful act. These fringe elements are robbing the chance of a dignified burial. The government should send a strong message to the public by taking severe action against the people who were involved in the brutal attack, they should be booked under the Goondas Act,” Tamil Nadu Government Doctor’s Association (TNGDA) secretary Dr N Ravishankar was quoted as saying.