A day after Dr Sudhakar Rao was detained by the Visakhapatnam police for creating a ruckus on the streets, a case was registered against him, even as he was shifted to the Government Hospital for Mental Health in the city-based King George Hospital (KGH).
Addressing the media, police commissioner R K Meena on Sunday said that Sudhakar, who was working as an anaesthetist in Narsipatnam before being suspended by the state government in April, was currently being assessed at a government hospital for mental care.
The doctor was booked under Sections 353 (Assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 427 (Mischief causing damage) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
A video of Sudhakar, in which he is seen hurling abuses at minorities and Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy was widely shared on social media. In another video, the doctor was being forcibly tied even as he kneeled bare-chested on the road. A constable, who was seen hitting the doctor with a lathi has been placed under suspension.
The Commissioner said that the police responded to a 'Dial 100' call that a person was creating nuisance on the road and didn't even know it was Dr Sudhakar, ruling out allegations by the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) that it was targeted harassment.
Sudhakar tried to remove stoppers meant to regulate the traffic on the road. When an autorickshaw driver and passers-by objected, he abused them, police officials claimed.
"We got information that a person was creating nuisance on roads. He was in a drunken state and was shifted to a hospital... He was trying to harm himself by going near speeding trucks on the road. So we had to stop him from self-inflicting injuries," Meena said.
In April, Sudhakar hit the headlines for criticising the Andhra Pradesh government before the media, alleging that it had failed to provide sufficient N-95 masks and the PPEs for health care personnel. Subsequently, he was suspended.
According to doctors at the Government Hospital for Mental Health, the preliminary investigations suggested that Dr K Sudhakar Rao could be suffering from acute and transient psychosis, but the further diagnosis is awaited.
The video clips of police tying the doctor's hands and manhandling him triggered outrage with the opposition parties condemning the action.
Main opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and Left parties alleged that the inhuman treatment was meted out to the doctor for questioning the government.
TDP President N Chandrababu Naidu demanded that the policemen who manhandled the doctor be arrested.
Meanwhile, family members of the doctor called on him at the pyschiatric hospital on Sunday. His mother Kaveribai broke down on seeing him. She alleged that he was suspended for demanding N95 masks for doctors for their protection and now his life was being spoiled by branding him mentally unsound. Stating that there is a threat to his life, she demanded that he be shifted to a private hospital.
His wife Manjari said that ever since his suspension, he has been very upset. The family members blamed the government for his current condition.
IANS and PTI inputs