Police hunt doctors who abandoned victims during Bihar floods

Mon Mar 4, 2013 9:34pm IST

A flood-affected girl stands with goats on the banks of Kosi river at Kusaha village in Purniya district in Bihar August 31, 2008. REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri/Files

A flood-affected girl stands with goats on the banks of Kosi river at Kusaha village in Purniya district in Bihar August 31, 2008.

Credit: Reuters/Rupak De Chowdhuri/Files

Related Topics

PATNA, India (AlertNet) - Police in Bihar are searching for eight doctors charged with dereliction of duty following complaints they abandoned survivors who needed medical assistance during devastating floods more than four years ago, police said.

Over three million lives were disrupted and around 500 people were killed in Bihar in August 2008, when the mighty Kosi river broke a barrage in neighbouring Nepal and changed course, unleashing huge waves of water in one of the worst disasters the country had witnessed in recent years.

Vast tracts of land were inundated and hundreds of villages submerged, forcing thousands of people to flee their homes and seek refuge in over-crowded relief camps where many were in need of medical assistance.

Police said they had discovered First Information Reports (FIRs) - complaints filed with the police - charging the doctors with failing to fulfil their duties towards those affected by the flooding.

"I have ordered the arrest of these doctors after stumbling upon FIRs pending against them for their gross negligence towards the victims of the 2008 Kosi floods," Shivdeep Waman Lande, district superintendent of police, told AlertNet by phone from Bihar's Araria district, one of the areas worst-hit by the floods.

"When you think about the magnitude of the floods at that time, you will understand how serious an offence these doctors committed against people in distress by abandoning their duty," he added.

The eight doctors had absconded but Lande said that police were searching for them and had warrants for their arrest.

The complaints against the eight private doctors were made in September 2008 when they were found to be absent from relief camps where they had been ordered to report to treat flood victims.

But the complaint documents had been forgotten about until last week when they were discovered in a police warehouse in Araria.

Under a law called the "Essential Services Maintenance Act", professionals such as medical practitioners - from both public and private sectors - are mandated to report for duty during a humanitarian crisis.

(Writing by Nita Bhalla)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Public Health

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Cost Cutting

Cost Cutting

PM Modi boots officials out of the first class cabin.  Full Article 

Border Dispute

Border Dispute

China expresses concern about Indian plan to build border posts  Full Article 

Investment Campaigns

Investment Campaigns

More investor activism expected, but returns likely lower - survey.  Full Article 

Cook Speaks Out

Cook Speaks Out

Apple's Cook signals front line of new gay rights battle.  Full Article 

Ebola Outbreak

Ebola Outbreak

Individual genetic differences may affect Ebola survival - study.  Full Article 

Formula One

Formula One

Mercedes rivals warm up with burgers and bling.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage