Nearly 300 teachers of GSV Medical College, Kanpur, resigned Monday even as junior doctors’ agitation against the arrest of their colleagues entered fourth day paralysing medical services in Uttar Pradesh. The resignations came even as 24 medical students, who were sent to judicial custody Saturday on charges of rioting and loot, were granted bail and Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav appealed to the junior doctors to call off the agitation.
“The CCTV footage of whatever happened in Kanpur is available and will be probed. Officers have been asked to conduct a probe, meet representatives of both the sides and take action against those who were on the wrong side,” Akhilesh told reporters in Lucknow.“It is my appeal to doctors that keeping aside their dispute they should execute their responsibilities and save human lives,” he said.
Later in the evening, the CM told a delegation led by Minister of State for Rural Development Pradeep Jain that a fact finding inquiry commission has been set up to look into the matter. “He assured us that action would be taken against his party MLA (from Sisamau, Kanpur) Irfan Solanki if he or his supporters were found guilty,” said a Congress spokesperson Surendra Rajput, who was a part of the delegation.
Meanwhile, medical services, OPD and emergency services across the state remained paralysed due to the strike. Medicos have been demanding that arrested students be released and action be initiated against police officers who had allegedly raided college hostels on Friday night. “The students who were arrested have been granted bail. They will be released soon,” said Principal Secretary Medical Education, B S Bhullar.
MLA in the eye of the storm has clean slate
Irfan Solanki, the man in the middle of the controversy — strike of junior doctors that has crippled medical services in UP — is the lone Muslim MLA in Kanpur district who inherited his political legacy from his father Haji Mushtaq Solanki, a two-time Samajwadi Party MLA.
Mushtaq Solanki joined SP in 1993, a year after Mulayam Singh Yadav formed the party. In 1996, Mushtaq was elected from Aryanagar seat in Kanpur giving Mulayam the edge of having a Muslim MLA in the district. He repeated the feat in 2002, but could not complete the term due to his untimely death in 2006.
The SP gave the ticket to Irfan, who was then 26 years old, from his father’s seat in 2007. Irfan won and became the youngest MLA in the 15th state Assembly. Considered close to Mulayam, Irfan contested the 2012 polls from Sisamau and won.
Irfan, popular as Haji Irfan, has considerable following in the community. He claims “not a single case has been lodged against me in the past except once”.
The MLA was caught on the wrong foot in 2011 when he had stormed into the office of the then Kanpur District Magistrate Ritu Maheshwari, protesting alleged inflated bills of local weavers. A case was registered and he was arrested. “They took me into custody and later released me from the police lines,” Irfan claimed.
Irfan is hardly seen participating in debates in Assembly. Besides politics, he inherited a tannery business from his father in Kanpur. A commerce graduate from Mumbai University, he has three daughters and a son.
Faisal Fareed in Lucknow