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Maharashtra government told to pay Rs1.5lakh over assault on KEM ward boy

Saturday, 26 April 2014 - 9:05am IST | Agency: dna

Two months after a ward boy from KEM Hospital was brutally assaulted by a policeman merely on suspicion of theft, the State Human Rights Commission has asked the Maharashtra government to pay a compensation of Rs1.5 lakh to the victim in a month's time.

The commission's order comes in the wake of the police failing to establish involvement of Suryakant Surve in the alleged crime. The February 14 incident had left the KEM staffer with an injured right thumb and partial hearing loss.

Surve, who is also a tabla player and has performed in the troupes of eminent artists such as Shridhar Phadke, Padamaja Joglekar-Phenani, Ustad Zhakir Hussain and Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia, was extremely disturbed as he feared that the attack might hamper his skills as an artist.

"I've been working at the hospital for the past 24 years and never has such a thing happened with me. This is a blot on my career, I just want justice nothing else. Today, I am happy that the SHRC has given me justice," said Surve, who has now fully recovered.

Fifty-year-old Surve said he does not want to go into how the incident happened but just wants a clean chit from the police. "I have resumed work at the hospital," said Surve.

On that fateful day, a second year resident doctor, Dr Manoj Bachau, from the plastic surgery department lodged a complaint, saying his wallet containing Rs8,000 was missing. The police visited the hospital premises and quizzed Surve suspecting his role in the theft.

When Surve said he did not know anything, a policeman started thrashing him. He sustained injuries on his back, right thumb and suffered partial hearing loss. He had to be admitted to the hospital for over a week.

During his stay at KEM, singers Shridhar Phadke and Padamaja Joglekar-Phenani visited Surve to inquire about his health. Phadke also met the hospital dean and asked if he could contribute in any way to help the artist come out the trauma.

Following media reports on Surve's condition, the SHRC had taken suo moto cognisance of the case and launched a probe. Surve also testified before the commission. SHRC Chairman Justice S R Bannurmath recently passed an order, directing the government to pay a compensation of Rs 1.5lakh within four weeks.

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