Kochi: The Kerala High Court on Wednesday slammed the state government and the police over the killing of a 23-year-old doctor at a taluk hospital in Kottarakkara area of Kollam district by a man she was treating, saying it indicated their "failure" to protect doctors. A special bench of Justices Devan Ramachandran and Kauser Edappagath said the police was trained and expected to protect women and children, but they failed to protect the young doctor.
"It is a complete failure of the system. Having an aid post in a hospital is not enough. When you (police) knew the man was acting abnormally, you should have restrained him.
"You should be able to anticipate the unanticipated. Else there is no need for the police. Over time, we have become casual, Did you not fail this girl?" the bench asked, adding that it had on several occasions in the past warned that such an incident would occur if nothing was done.
"This is what we were scared of. We had said in the past that something like this could happen," the bench said.
The court said the incident has created a "fear psychosis" among the doctors, medical students and their parents.
"Doctors have gone on strike. What excuse would you give for denial of treatment to thousands of patients as a result? Can you blame the doctors for any problem caused to any patient today due to the strike?" the court asked the state government.
The doctor was stabbed to death allegedly by a man, a school teacher under suspension, who was brought there by police after being involved in a fight with his family members.
According to an officer of Kottarakkara police, while a wound on the leg of the man -- identified as Sandeep -- was being dressed by doctor Vandana Das, he suddenly got provoked and attacked everyone standing there using a scissor and scalpel.
The incident occurred during the early hours of Wednesday morning and Das succumbed to her injuries a few hours later.
The brunt of the attack was borne by the young doctor while the police personnel who accompanied the man were also injured. The doctor was rushed to a private hospital in Thiruvananthapuram but could not be saved.