Hyderabad: The Indian Medical Association (IMA), in a statement released on 19 May, questioned the Andhra Pradesh police’s inhuman treatment of doctor Sudhakar Rao, who was suspended for spreading falsehoods about the state government.

“Dr. Sudhakar Rao, an anesthetist in government service, was handled inappropriately by the police on 16 May. There were certainly other civilised ways of handling this situation by a civilized government,” the IMA said in the statement.

On 8 April, Dr. Sudhakar was suspended for spreading falsehoods about the state government. He had accused the state of not providing N95 face masks to medical staff treating COVID-19 patients and alleged that doctors and nurses were using the same mask for 15 days.

On 17 May, several distressing videos emerged from Visakhapatnam which showed the doctor, stripped to the waist, abusing Chief Minister Y.S Jagan Mohan Reddy and the state police department.

The IMA said it does not support such unacceptable behavior, however, the way the police handled the situation was very disturbing. “It has hurt the doctors across the nation. IMA AP rose to the occasion in defending the dignity of the doctor and looking after his health,” the statement said.

The association said it expects a fair investigation into the Dalit doctor’s suspension. It also demanded “appropriate punishment for the erring police officers”.

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