Nearly four weeks after the attack on a young postgraduate student at Bengaluru’s Victoria Hospital, home guards have been deployed at the hospital premises to provide protection to its doctors and staff. After seven days of protest by the students, the Karnataka government had assured to provide them with increased security, including better surveillance equipment.
On November 13, doctors of the government-run Victoria Hospital had met Deputy Chief Minister Ashwath Narayan to discuss a better solution to ensure the staff members were safe. At the time, the deputy CM had assured the doctors that he would provide the hospital with home guards for security. On Friday, based on the orders of the Deputy CM, the home guards, who serve as auxiliary to the police in maintaining internal security and law and order, were deployed on the hospital premises.
According to a notice issued by Victoria Hospital, dated November 22, 31 guards have been deployed so far. Nine guards have been stationed at Victoria Hospital’s main building, six at the Trauma Care Center, nine at Vani Vilas Women and Children's Hospital and seven at Minto Eye Hospital. Both the hospital buildings are located on the same premises as Victoria Hospital, which is situated near City Market in Bengaluru. As many as 20 more guards are expected to be deployed at the hospital.
The doctors of the Resident Doctors' Association (RDA) at the hospital, along with the hospital director, met the Deputy CM days after a Bengaluru sessions court granted bail to 12 activists of Karnataka Rakshana Vedike (KRV), pro-Kannada outfit, who were arrested for allegedly harassing a female doctor at Bengaluru’s Minto Eye Hospital on November 1. The students have been protesting since November 2 at the hospital. A state-wide protest of outpatient clinics was also held on November 8 under the Indian Medical Association’s Karnataka branch. IMA called off the strike after the 12 individuals were arrested. They were granted bail the next day, on November 9.
The postgraduate student doctor from the ophthalmology department was harassed and attacked by members of Kannada Raksha Vedike, allegedly for not speaking in Kannada.
Following the incident, which took place on November 1, a complaint was registered at the VV Puram police station by the Dean of Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute (BMCRI), Dr HS Satish. Victoria Hospital, which is affiliated with Bangalore Medical College.
Following this, the police registered an FIR (first information report) against unknown members of the KRV. Around 30 members of the KRV were taken into custody on November 8 in connection with the investigation of the incident. Later, the same day, 12 individuals among them were arrested by the police in connection with harassing the student doctor.