Where were the cops when Dr Vandana was alone with the culprit?: HC calls for 24x7 police security at hospitals

Sandeep, a UP school teacher fatally stabbed Dr Vandana Das at the Kottarakkara Taluk Hospital on May 10, 2023. Photo: Manorama

Kochi: The Kerala High Court on Thursday slammed the police for their absence in the procedure room when S Sandeep, a UP school teacher, fatally stabbed Dr Vandana Das at the Kottarakkara Taluk Hospital.

"Where were the police when Sandeep was taken to the procedure room? Why did no cop rush in to help Vandana when she was being attacked?" the High Court asked. 

 The court also directed the police to arrange security at hospitals round-the-clock.

A special bench of Justices Devan Ramachandran and Kauser Edappagath directed the State Police Chief to come out with a new set of protocols for ensuring security of the doctors and other healthcare professionals in all government hospitals in the state. The Division Bench was considering a detailed report submitted by the police on the death of Dr Vandana Das. The court demanded a step-by-step narration of the incidents that took place at the taluk hospital on Wednesday morning.  

The Kerala State Police Chief was virtually present in the court.

 "Police need to pull up their socks on a war footing," the bench said during the hearing. The court said that if another doctor or healthcare professional is attacked, the State DGP would be held responsible. During the hearing of the matter, State Police Chief Anil Kant and ADGP Law and order M R Ajith Kumar told the bench that they would come out with a new set of protocols within a week. 

They also told the court that the State Industrial Security Force (SISF) has young, armed and trained personnel picked from the police and are available for deployment at hospitals on payment basis. However, the state government would have to decide whether they will foot the bill for deployment of these personnel in the government hospitals. The top police officers of the state also agreed it was a systemic failure and that the officers present at the scene ought to have protected the young doctor -- Vandana Das -- with their lives. 

The HC posed the questions when ADGP (law and order) M R Ajith Kumar narrated the events in court. The ADGP explained the incidents to the court with the help of a Powerpoint presentation.

The nurse asked Sandeep to lower his leg to clean the wound on his leg. But Sandeep was not prepared to lower his limb. Sandeep was provoked when his relative Rajendran Pillai forcibly lowered his leg. The court is now hearing the explanation of the police.

Call recording submitted

The police also submitted a call voice recording of the accused in the court. In the first call to emergency number 112, recorded at 1.06 am, Sandeep is heard saying that he was hiding in a well. In the second call, recorded at 3.49 am, he claims that his neighbor would kill him.

When local police located him, he was standing 500 metres away from his home, surrounded by local residents and his relatives, and had a wound on his leg and had a stick in his hand. He was taken to the hospital in a police jeep and was accompanied by his brother-in-law and a local political party leader.

(With PTI inputs.)

The comments posted here/below/in the given space are not on behalf of Onmanorama. The person posting the comment will be in sole ownership of its responsibility. According to the central government's IT rules, obscene or offensive statement made against a person, religion, community or nation is a punishable offense, and legal action would be taken against people who indulge in such activities.