A first information report has been registered against the chief executive officer of the Mysore Zilla Parishad for allegedly abetting the suicide of a government doctor on coronavirus duty in Mysuru district on August 20, PTI reported on Saturday.

Dr SR Nagendra had said in a note that he took his own life because of harassment by fellow doctors. Doctors in Mysuru have begun a strike, seeking action against those responsible for the suicide. They have accused Mishra of pressurising the doctor to meet targets of conducting coronavirus rapid antigen tests in Nanjangud taluk. They alleged that the officer abused Nagendra and he died as he was unable to take the humiliation beyond a point.

The accused has been identified as Prashant Kumar Mishra. An FIR has been filed against him under Section 306 of the Indian Penal Code, relating to the death by suicide of Nanjangud Taluk Health Officer Dr Nagendra on August 20. Section 306 of the IPC prescribes a punishment of up to 10 years in prison for any person who abets suicide.

The FIR was filed on the basis of a complaint by Nagendra’s father Ramakrishna who accused Mishra of setting additional targets for his son. He has also alleged that Mishra threatened to get the doctor booked under the National Disaster Management Act if he did not meet it. Nagendra had in vain approached his seniors for essential materials to carry out his duties, Ramakrishna said. He alleged that his son died by suicide due to the stress Mishra had put him under.

Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa had on Friday ordered an inquiry into the suicide. The chief minister announced an ex-gratia of Rs 50 lakh for Nagendra’s family and assured that the inquiry will be completed in seven days.

Minister asks doctors to return to work

Medical Education Minister Dr K Sudhakar appealed to the striking doctors to go back to work. “Everybody has the right to protest in a democracy, but do not put the patients in trouble by protesting during the coronavirus time,” Sudhakar said. “Please proceed to live up to people’s belief of Vaidyo Narayano Harihi [doctors are God].”

But the Indian Medical Association said in a letter to Yediyurappa that doctors in Karnataka were extremely disturbed over the incident. “Due to the constraints of the epidemic, IMA has channelised the anger of the medical profession into two days of black badge protest and a night of candlelight vigil,” IMA National President Dr Rajan Sharma and General Secretary Dr RV Asokan said in the letter.