Indian doctor arrested for trying to burn patient's body

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Police in India have arrested a doctor accused of trying to set a patient's body on fire after he died during treatment for back pain and fever, police said Monday.

Salman Shiekh's 45-year-old patient became unconscious and died shortly after being given painkillers at a private clinic in the southern city of Hyderabad on Saturday, said senior Hyderabad police officer T.Sudhakar.

"Apparently he was having back pain and fever. As soon as he was given the injections he fell unconscious and died," Sudhakar told AFP.

Shiekh allegedly took the body on a motorcycle to an isolated location and doused it with petrol. The doctor tried to set the body on fire but was stopped by alarmed locals, Sudhakar said.

The registered doctor, who had treated the victim on previous occasions, is in custody pending the outcome of the police investigation. He faces initial charges of murder and destroying evidence, Sudhakar said.

The body has been sent for an autopsy to establish the cause of death.

The case is the latest highlighting poor health care. Earlier this month at least 14 people in the western state of Maharashtra were left blind in one eye after bungled cataract surgeries.

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