The forensic head of King Edward Memorial Hospital(KEM), Dr. Harish Pathak, was attacked by five Shiv Sena members on Saturday.
The Sena members tried scribbling a number on the doctor’s forehead exclaiming that they were angered by the hospital’s decision to identify the victims of the stampede at Mumbai’s Elphinstone station by marking a number on their foreheads.
They further asserted that they found the whole incident disrespectful and hence, tried giving it back to the doctor. Two of the attackers have been detained by the police and are being questioned.
Dr. Pathak was quick to respond to all the allegations labeled against him and reasoned that they marked a number so that the relatives of the dead would not have to see all the bodies. “We took photos of the faces of all the victims, numbered them and displayed it to the relatives,” he said.
He further explained that the situation was quickly turning chaotic and hundreds of people were streaming into the hospital looking for their relatives.
“Once the victims were identified, the numbers were erased and the bodies were handed over. The intention was the only speedy identification and not to hurt anyone’s sentiments,” he further added.
“We have found membership identity-card of the Shiv Sena from one of the accused,” said a police officer asserting that a case will be registered against the two men under section 353 of the Indian Penal Code.
Some of the hospital staff, however, refused to return to duty, fearing for their safety following the attack on their forensic head.
Twenty-three people were killed and 39 others were injured after a stampede broke out on a crowded foot overbridge connecting Elphinstone and Parel stations in Mumbai on Friday morning. It is not yet clear what triggered the stampede, but eyewitness accounts suggest it was the heavy downpour coupled with the rumours of the bridge collapsing or a short circuit.
-with inputs from News18.