Karnataka COVID Warrior’s Suicide: Rs 50 Lakh Ex-Gratia For Family, Inquiry Ordered.
“Dr S R Nagendra has said he was committing suicide as he was frustrated due to the harassment by his superiors. I will order a detailed inquiry into the matter to find out the truth behind the incident,” the Chief Minister told reporters. Bengaluru – Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Friday ordered an inquiry into the suicide of a government doctor who was handling COVID-19 cases in a taluk, allegedly due to severe work pressure. He also announced an ex-gratia of Rs 50 lakh for the family of Nanjangud Taluk (Mysuru district) Health Officer, S R Nagendra.
I will order a detailed inquiry into the matter to find out the truth behind the incident,” the Chief Minister told reporters. Yediyurappa expressed his sorrow over Dr Nagendra taking his own life at his residence at Alanahalli in Mysuru district on Thursday morning. “Generally Rs 30 lakh is given to the doctors who die in line of duty but considering this as a special case, Rs 50 lakh will be given (to his family) and I have also decided to give a government job to anyone of the family.” Later, the Chief Minister said the inquiry will be completed in seven days.
He also said that besides Rs 50 lakh, whatever is due to be given to the next of the kin will be given expeditiously. Meanwhile, an audio conversation purportedly between Nagendra and a senior district level officer who is heard taking him to task for not conducting enough tests, went viral. “How many swabs have to be taken and how many are you extracting? Is it a joke? Have you come here to play? You are playing with the patients. For a week if you are conducting only 25 or 26 (COVID) tests (a day), then I will teach you a lesson. You were supposed to do 150 tests a day,” the officer is heard shouting at Dr Nagendra.
The situation in Nanjangud was tense following protests over his death. Representing the medical fraternity on coronavirus duty in Mysuru, another government doctor Dr Ravindra poured the woes of medical professionals to the state Medical Education Minister Dr K Sudhakar, who is in charge of coronavirus management in Karnataka. “Look at the attendance register. Ever since the outbreak of coronavirus, Nagendra has not taken any leave. He was staying alone for six months because he was afraid that his family may get the coronavirus,” a teary eyed Dr Ravindra told Dr Sudhakar.
The Karnataka State Medical Doctors Association has threatened to go on a statewide strike if those responsible for Dr Nagendra”s death are not suspended. “We will go on statewide strike from Monday if those responsible for Dr Nagendra”s death are not suspended. Barring emergency cases, no cases will be taken up from Monday,” Dr Gulur Srinivas, president, KSMDA told PTI.