The Calcutta High Court Friday refused to pass an interim order on the ongoing strike by juniors doctors across hospitals in West Bengal. The court, which was hearing a PIL filed by doctor Kunal Saha seeking the strike to be declared illegal, has sought details of the steps taken the Mamata Banerjee-led government over the alleged attacks on doctors. It has given the government time till June 21.
A division bench comprising Chief Justice TBN Radhakrishnan and Justice Suvra Ghosh asked the state government to persuade the striking doctors to resume work and provide usual services to patients.
The agitation led by doctors and medical students, which entered its fifth day Friday, continued to demand security.
The protests began after their colleagues were allegedly attacked and seriously injured following a patient’s death at NRS Medical College and Hospital in Kolkata.
Earlier, the doctors had defied an ultimatum issued by the Chief Minister to resume work after she paid an unannounced visit to SSKM Hospital and spoke to unattended patients. “We have arrested five in connection with the NRS issue, but the doctors are still protesting.
Some of them are not junior doctors but outsiders. If they do not withdraw protest and resume regular work within four hours, we’ll review their profiles,” Mamata had said.
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About 85 doctors from R.G. Kar Medical College and Hospital and over a hundred from other state-run medical facilities have tendered their resignations in solidarity with protesting doctors at NRS.
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Emergency wards, outdoor facilities, pathological units of many state-run medical colleges and hospitals and a number of private medical facilities in the state have remained closed over the past three days in the wake of the protest.
The protests have also garnered support from doctors in Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Kerala and Bengaluru. Resident doctors of AIIMS, Maulana Azad Medical College (MAMC) and Safdarjung Hospital in New Delhi are on strike today. They are working with bandages on their heads and helmets as a symbolic protest.
(Inputs from PTI)