Attack on Healthcare Workers Now A Non-bailable Offence

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Srinagar: The J&K Government has ordered strict action “including and not limited to Disaster Management Act or Epidemic Diseases (Amendment) Ordinance” against anyone who attacks any healthcare worker in Jammu and Kashmir.

In this regard, the Government has made the IGsP of Jammu, Kashmir and the District Superintendents of Police as Nodal Officers within their respective jurisdictions for ensuring adequate protection to the healthcare professionals, medical staff and frontline workers. The nodal officers have been asked to augment their safety and security cover.

“The Nodal Officers shall also take immediate and strict action in case of any incident of violence against them, including and not limited to the provisions of the Disaster Management Act, 2005 and the Epidemic Diseases (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020,” reads an order issued by Home department.

The order comes two days after MHA asked states and union territories to ensure adequate protection to healthcare professionals, medical staff and frontline workers by augmenting their safety and security cover.

“You are aware that the whole-hearted and untiring services rendered by the entire medical fraternity, while even risking their lives, has enabled the country to resist the spread of the highly infectious COVID-19 virus, that has already been declared as a pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO). At this time, any single incident of violence against healthcare professionals is likely to create a sense of insecurity amongst the entire healthcare community,” reads a letter written by Home Secretary to Chief Secretaries.

The Supreme Court on April 8 directed Government of India, respective States and Union Territories besides respective Police authorities to provide the necessary police security to the doctors and medical staff in Hospitals and places where patients who have been diagnosed COVID-19 or patients suspected of COVID-19 or those quarantined are housed.

“Necessary Police security be also extended to Doctors and other medical staff who visit places to conduct screening of people to find out symptoms of disease,” the top court had said as per global news service.

The home secretary has stated that it was the responsibility of all State Governments/UT Administrations/ District Administrations and law enforcement agencies to take all necessary measures to ensure adequate protection to healthcare professionals and frontline workers, and to prevent any incident of violence against them.

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