NEW DELHI: “No violence is acceptable in a hospital. Hospitals are sacrosanct and are exempted even in war zones” says the press statement released by the Indian Medical Association on December 22, condemning Mangalore Police action in Highland hospital. The statement follows videos that show police personnel inside the hospital. Reports have emerged that teargas was used within the hospital and the police banged on ICU doors, damaging them.

Referring to the incident, the statement says “The government and its establishment have no right to deny anyone their right of access.” The Citizen spoke to Dr. Dr. Shantanu Sen, President of Indian Medical Association and also Dr. R.V. Asokan, honorary secretary general - both of whom confirmed the points of the press release.

A source at Highland Hospital confirmed that police had entered the hospital, and also confirmed the authenticity of the videos. The source confirmed media reports that note the hospital had called the police when the body of two firing victims were brought in. The victims had been killed when police opened fire on people protesting against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act. According to media reports, the hospital called the police as as it did not have a morgue and the case was a medico-legal case. Crowds then gathered at the hospital. The videos show police personnel in the hospital corridors, and reports of lathicharge and teargas use within hospital premises have since emerged.

In two other videos, the validity of which was confirmed by the source, the police can be clearly seen dispersing people waiting, and then breaking open a door. It has been reported that police even tried to enter the ICU.

The press statement by IMA refers to this, saying “The visuals of a policeman violently opening an ICU door by stomping is a clear indication of the New Truth and the New Standards.”

Meanwhile, an association of medical consultants in Mangaluru has released its own statement, supporting police action.

"We, doctors often take the help of police when there are incidents of abuse or violence in hospitals and police have promptly brought the situation under control. How is it any different when the same police enter hospital to tackle miscreants who create a law and order problem on the street but enter hospitals to hide?" a statement by the Association of Medical Consultants (AMC), Megaluru, says.