The Murshidabad Medical College and Hospital nearly turned into a battlefield on Monday, when police went to the hospital to clear illegal encroachments inside the hospital premises. A clash broke out between police and the hawkers who were illegally occupying the hospital premises, after the former prevented them from entering into the hospital on Monday morning.
This infuriated the hawkers who they started pelting stones on the police personnel. Upahar Khatoon, a woman civic volunteer, was seriously injured after she was struck by stones and was rushed to the emergency department of the hospital.
As the situation was getting out of hand, police had to resort to lathi charge in which some hawkers received mild injuries. The hospital authorities had decided to evict the encroachers inside the hospital premises. All the hawkers who had illegally encroached upon the area were asked to leave the place within a stipulated time, but the hawkers did not pay any heed to the appeal.
Illegal encroachments were causing traffic jams in the area and the ambulances were facing problems while entering the hospital with patients.
The authorities asked the police to take some steps against the hawkers who refused to leave the place despite repeated requests. Accordingly, police started the eviction drive from Monday morning.
When they stopped the hawkers from entering the hospital premises, an altercation broke out between the two groups, which led to a scuffle. The hawkers threw stones and bricks on the police personnel. The mob also ransacked a portion of the hospital. Some furniture and some of the motorcycles parked inside the hospital were also damaged when the mob went on a rampage.
A huge contingent of police led by the officer-in-charge of the Berhampur police station rushed to the spot and brought the situation under control. A senior official of the hospital said that they had sought intervention of the police only to evict the encroachers inside the hospital premises.