In the letter to the Home Minister, the IMA said: "The need to strengthen 23 state laws is becoming clear every day. IMA once again points out that a central legislation under item 1 and 2 of concurrent list ie IPC and CrPC are absolutely essential to deal with such situations. Kindly consider our plea."
Speaking to IANS, IMA President Dr Rajan Sharma said: "It is extremely sad that many such cases are coming into light these days from states like Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh etc. The Indore incident was very well highlighted in the media. There was an incident near Safdarjung Hospital, New Delhi where two young lady doctors were accosted and abused physically and verbally by an assailant who blamed them for the spread of the coronavirus epidemic. There was a group of people who remained silent as if they concurred with them."
Sharma also said that there was a need to fulfill a long-standing demand to bring a central legislation in order to deal with such matters.
"It is good that the Delhi Police has taken action in that (Safdarjung) matter but the moot question remains how long such abuses be tolerated especially amidst a pandemic? Doctors, nurses and health care workers have been risking their health to save others. The Prime Minister has condemned such violence twice."
Sharma told IANS that such incidents are increasing and there is lack of good deterrence in law for dealing with such incidents. "Morale of the medical and allied healthcare workers is vital to fight the current epidemic. Such demoralising incidents have to stop. We once again demand an ordinance against violence on Doctors nurses , health care workers and hospitals," he said.
(Sfoorti Mishra can be contacted at [email protected])