A team of doctors and local administrative officials who were visiting Malikhedi village in Madhya Pradesh’s Ujjain district to urge people to take the coronavirus vaccine were attacked by the local residents on Monday morning, The Indian Express reported, citing officials.
One of the officials, identified as Shakeel Qureshi, sustained injuries on his head. He has been admitted to Ujjain District Hospital for treatment.
The police said two people have been arrested in the case.
A video of the incident was shared on social media in which the team members can be seen fleeing as residents attack them. “The tehsildar [revenue officer] was trying to convince the villagers to come and get vaccinated when a few women began abusing her,” Qureshi told The Indian Express. “I went ahead to talk to them when suddenly, a group of around 25 men came and one of them suddenly hit me with a lathi on my head and ran away.”
Anu Jain, the revenue officer, said she visited the village with a team because no one was showing up for vaccination. “The idea was to go among people and try to make them aware,” Jain said.
She said that when the woman got aggressive, refusing to get the jabs, Qureshi tried to reason with them.
Jain added she then called the control room. The police arrived at the spot and arrested Chandu Lal and Maxi Mareth while another suspect was absconding.
The medical team had visited the village earlier too but the local residents were not ready to take the vaccine shots, reported NDTV.
Nagda Sub Divisonal Magistrate Ashutosh Goswami said that his team visited the area later and convinced four village heads to get the jabs to ward-off fears of vaccination. “After this, other youths also came forward but we are for now focusing on those above 45 years of age,” he added. “Hopefully this will work as a turning point.”