New Delhi, April (IANS) The Indian Medical Association (IMA) on Monday warned of retaliation if cremations are obstructed by the people.

The IMA said in a press statement that it has taken serious note of the incidents n Chennai where the cremation of doctors was obstructed, exposing the helplessness of the state government.

“It is a matter of great concern that these doctors who had died in their line of duty be treated shabbily and in such an uncivilised manner,” the IMA stated.

The association also slammed the state governments, saying “if the governments do not have power to stop such incidents, they lose their moral right to govern.”

Speaking about the atrocities faced by the healthcare workers amid the coronavirus pandemic, IMA President Rajan Sharma said, “IMA has shown much restraint in spite of extreme provocations. That doesn’t mean our patience is endless. Abuse, violence, spitting, pelting of stones, denial of entry to societies and residential accommodations have been tolerated so far, since we expected the governments to do their normal duty. “When they are unable to discharge their constitutional obligations, perhaps these are not normal times. Denial of dignity in death is the ultimate sacrilege.”

Sharma also blamed the government for not giving proper attention to the issues faced by the doctors amid the pandemic situation.

“The doctors are rendering services at extreme risk to themselves. No nation sends its army to war without weapons. Doctors, nurses and healthcare workers of this country have been sent to fight against Covid-19 without PPE kits and they are dying young defending their people. If the value of such services are not realised, the easiest thing for the doctor community will be to sit at home. The bigger sufferers will be the community.”

IMA Secretary General R.V. Asokan said, “While all other interventions have already been withdrawn, it is very unfortunate if more services are going to be withheld for non-medical reasons. The state governments concerned are better warned to perform their constitutional duties as expected. Failing which IMA has no option but to resort to drastic steps to protect the rights of the medical professionals. Appropriate retaliatory measures will be decided if the constitutional machinery breaks down.”

A 55-year-old doctor had died on Sunday at a private hospital in Chennai and his body was taken to a crematorium . However, the locals there held a protest against the funeral fearing the spread of the virus. They also attacked the ambulance and healthcare officials. The Tamil Nadu police, on Monday, have arrested 20 persons in this connection.

This was the second such incident in the city. Some days back, a doctor from Nellore had died of Covid-19 at a private hospital and when his body was taken to a crematorium, the locals staged a protest.

—IANS

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