23 Jun 2021: BJP's Maneka Gandhi faces protests for allegedly abusing a veterinarian
Bharatiya Janata Party MP Maneka Gandhi, a self-described animal rights activist, is facing the heat for allegedly abusing a veterinarian. A purported audio clip of their telephonic conversation has gone viral on social media. The Indian Veterinary Association, a top body representing veterinarians across the country, has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the matter while veterinarians are observing a nationwide protest today.
Details: Gandhi threatened the doctor over a dog's treatment
In the alleged audio clip, Gandhi was heard accusing the doctor of "needlessly" amputating a dog's leg even as he said the procedure was essential in that case. Gandhi also used some Hindi slurs and threatened to scrap his license. She warned the veterinary of dire consequences if he did not immediately treat the dog in question, on his own expense.
Letter: 'A matter of grave concern,' says the IVA
In its letter to the PM, the veterinary association said it is a matter of "grave concern" that Gandhi "habitually and repeatedly threatens veterinarians, claiming settlements." "We would request your kind attention in this regard so that the image of parliamentarian in the eyes of common people is not dented in the society." The letter was also reportedly sent to the Lok Sabha Speaker.
Details: Veterinarians across India observing a 'Black Day'
In another notice addressed to veterinarians across India, the association called for a nationwide protest today, asking doctors to wear a black band as a mark against Gandhi's comments. "IVA holds firm in its stands to further intensify the agitations if she does not reverse her attitude and refrain from her obnoxious comments on veterinarians of the country," that letter reportedly read.
Protest: Many on Twitter ask Gandhi to apologize for comments
Many doctors and users have been trending #BoycottManekaGandhi on the social media platform Twitter, asking Gandhi to apologize for her alleged misbehavior. "Such comments about veterinarians and there profession from someone who had once held responsible position in the government were very unfortunate and unwarranted (sic)," a user named Dr. Mayank N Patel tweeted last night.
History: Gandhi has courted similar controversies in the past too
Gandhi, a former Union Minister, has courted similar controversies in the past as well. According to another viral audio clip, she recently told a police officer to arrest and "slap" a man for allegedly breaking a dog's leg with a stick. Earlier this year, she had allegedly abused, and threatened a Bengaluru-based businessman with sexual harassment complaints, after he reportedly hit a stray dog.
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