When they were aboard a Krishnagar-bound local train on Tuesday afternoon, a doctor affiliated with the Calcutta Medical College was allegedly beaten up by a co-passenger for demanding the latter to wear a mask.
Dr. Jayanta Sarkar, 44, a resident of Chakdah in Nadia district and a pathologist at the Calcutta Medical College, sustained injuries to his face, neck, and shoulders.
When the incident occurred, the doctor was on his way to a relative’s house in Krishnagar. He reportedly informed GRP personnel after the train arrived at Krishnagar station, who sent him to Nadia district hospital for treatment.
The doctor eventually filed a complaint against his co-passenger, Samar Bhattacharyya, 59, a state government employee in Krishnagar, at the Krishnagar GRP office. According to GRP sources, the accused filed a counter-complaint stating the doctor’s behaviour was abusive.
Both allegations are being investigated.
According to sources, the squabble began when Bhattacharyya boarded a Krishnagar-bound train at Taherpur station without a mask.
“The elderly man was part of a group of daily passengers and was talking without wearing a mask. He was seated close to me. I humbly asked him several times since there is still a strong Covid threat with a new variant of the virus (omicron). But he began abusing me. When I protested, he attacked me, tore my mask and thrashed me. Some of his co-passengers also indulged his behaviour,” the doctor alleged.
He added, however, that some other passengers supported him and rescued him from the passenger’s blows.
“They also helped me to draw the attention of the GRP and gave their statement to police when the train reached Krishnagar,” the doctor added.
The accused refused to speak.
A Krishnagar GRP officer said they had received both the complaints and were probing them.. “The investigation is at a preliminary stage. No case has been started so far,” he said.
When asked if the GRP did enough to book train passengers who did not wear masks, the officer said: “Police can do little unless people become aware of the need to wear masks in public places.”