A 25-year-old woman doctor in Kerala who was on duty at Kottarakkara Taluk government hospital in Kollam District was horrifyingly stabbed by a suspended teacher named Sandeep, who was aged 42 and was teaching in Nedumpara UP School. He was brought to the hospital by police officials for treatment. This attack happened at 4:30 a.m. in the morning on Wednesday, i.e., May 10, 2023.
The victim was recognised as Vandana Das, a 25-year-old woman living in Kaduthuruthy, Kottayam. She is currently a final-year student of MBBS at Kollam Azeezia Institute of Medical Sciences & Research in Kollam District. She was a general and a house surgeon at the Kottarakkara Taluk government hospital.
According to police, it was reported that the accused, Sandeep, had a major fight with his neighbours and family members because of which he was in police custody, which occurred on Tuesday night. During that fight, he had injured his leg. To give him treatment, police brought him to this hospital at 4:30 a.m. on Wednesday.
At this time, Vandana was on duty, so she was assigned to give Sandeep treatment. When she was cleaning his wounds in the dressing room, he grabbed the surgical scissors and scalpel from the nearby table and stabbed Vandana six times repeatedly on her neck and chest, which resulted in her being rushed to the private hospital in Thiruvananthapuram. Unfortunately, she died while under treatment. But that was not all; he also injured five more policemen, who brought him to the hospital for treatment.
It was later known that this was not the first time Sandeep performed such a horrendous act. He had previously stabbed Alex Kutty, a home guard, and Manilal, a subinspector. It is learned that Sandeep has anger issues and might not be mentally fit; he might also be a drug addict, as he was under treatment at a de-addiction centre. While he was brought into the hospital, sources said he was on alcohol at that time, which may have blinded his actions.
Members of the doctor’s association claimed that the accused was not handcuffed when he was being treated for his injury. “A Supreme Court order states that a person can only be handcuffed when there is a clear and present risk of escape. Police are mandated to provide reasons before the trial court for handcuffing the accused, and if the magistrate gives permission, only then can cops use handcuffs,” as reported by Onmanorama.
Mr. Ajith Kumar, ADGP (Law and Order), said, “This is a very unfortunate incident. He was not taken to the hospital as a suspect. The injured accused was taken to the hospital for treatment. The accused attacked the doctor when she was dressing the wound. The police constable was the first to be stabbed. All managed to escape. The doctor could not run away. The accused is an alcoholic.”
“Assaulting health workers in the line of duty is unacceptable. A thorough investigation will be conducted into the incident. The government will take strong action against attacks on doctors and health workers,” Vijayan said in a statement.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan consoled the family of the doctor and stated the incident was “shocking and extremely painful”. Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan and CM Pinarayi Vijayan also visited KIMS Hospital, where the body of Dr. Vandana Das is kept, to mourn the death of a civil health worker.
There are strikes being conducted in Kerala hospitals currently. These strikes were called by the Indian Medical Association (IMA) in all hospitals across the state to protest the death of a woman doctor from Kerala. According to the IMA, these strikes, which will last until 8 a.m. on Thursday, will not affect the intensive care units and emergency wards.