The strike called by senior and junior resident doctors at the Sir Sunder Lal Hospital (SSL) in Banaras Hindu University (BHU) in Varanasi, after two doctors were allegedly assaulted by university students on Tuesday night, entered the second day as medical services continued to remain paralysed.
The protesting doctors are demanding the administration to take concrete action to enhance their security.
On Tuesday evening, Kumar Ujjwal, a second-year student of BA (Hons), Statistics, and a resident of Birla hostel, had gone outside the campus on a motorcycle with one Roshan Mishra, an outsider. Their bike met with an accident near a police post at Nagwa. Roshan, who was seriously injured, was admitted to SSL Hospital while Ujjwal, who had escaped with minor bruises, reached the hospital later.
According to an official statement of BHU, Ujjwal insisted that he and his friend be treated at priority. He also allegedly misbehaved and then assaulted the medical officers on emergency duty Dr Srinivas and Dr Arvind Pratap. Following information, local police reached the spot and brought the situation under control.
Angry over the incident, the junior resident doctors and the para-medical staff stopped work on Wednesday, paralysing the services at the SSL hospital, which caters to many eastern region districts.
On Wednesday evening, Vice-Chancellor Professor Girish Chandra Tripathi called an emergency meeting attended by the Director of Institute of Medical Sciences (BHU) and other senior officials. A three-member committee was constituted to look into the incident and asked to submit a report within 72 hours. Ujjwal was suspended with immediate effect till the completion of the inquiry.
Chief Proctor Professor Satyendra Singh said: “The Director of the Institute of Medical Sciences, department heads and other officials, besides senior administration officials, are working towards a resolution of the issue at the earliest. On our side, the university has taken strong cognisance of the matter and got an FIR lodged against the suspended student and his unidentified friends, who were allegedly involved in the assault.
“We have requested the district administration to provide extra security to the hospital and the BHU campus. The force is yet to be provided to us. Meanwhile, negotiations are on at all levels to end the deadlock,” he added.
SSL Medical Superintendent Professor K K Gupta said though the emergency and OPD wards are open, the input of patients has been low since Tuesday’s incident.
“There is definitely anger and resentment among the resident doctors – both junior and senior… However, other department heads and I have personally have been talking to them to convince them to join work in full force,” Gupta said.
The MBBS examinations which have just started are going on as per schedule, the superintendent added.