Protesting junior doctors in West Bengal on Thursday defied the deadline set by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and said their agitation will continue till their demands related to their security in the government hospitals are met. The chief minister had warned the agitating doctors to resume work by 2 pm today or face action. Full coverage in iebangla
The doctors have been protesting since Tuesday after two of their colleagues were attacked and seriously injured at the NRS medical college and hospital in Kolkata. Today, Banerjee visited the state-run SSKM hospital around noon in the wake of disruption of medical services in several parts of the state over the past three days. She warned the doctors of action if they do not resume work.
The principal of NRS Medical College, where the violence took place, has also resigned from his position. In a letter to the director of Medical Education and EO Secretary, Professor Saibal Kumar Mukherjee “expressed regret over not being able to overcome the prevailing crisis at the college.”
Earlier today, in protest against Mamata’s order, a team of doctors met Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi at Raj Bhavan over the issue and said that her reaction to their agitation was unexpected.
“We will continue with our agitation till our demands are fulfilled. We have spoken to the Governor. He listened to us and hopefully will speak to the chief minister,” one of the junior doctors told reporters outside the Raj Bhavan after meeting Tripathi.
Reiterating the demands of the striking doctors, the delegation said: “We will continue with our agitation till our demands are fulfilled. Our demands are simple… proper security with armed policemen at all hospitals, arrest of culprits involved in the NRS attack on Saturday under non-bailable sections.”
Another junior doctor said: “We did not expect the chief minister to say what she did. Listening to her, we felt like that we were the culprits.”
The team approached the Governor today after Banerjee, who also holds the health and family welfare portfolio, came down heavily on the doctors for striking work.
“I condemn the agitation. The junior doctors’ strike is a conspiracy by the CPI(M) and the BJP,” she said.
Meanwhile, Delhi Medical Association (DMA) has declared a complete medical bandh tomorrow as a mark of protest against the assault on doctors in Kolkata. DMA executive in its statement strongly condemned the violence at NRS medical college and announced that the entire medical fraternity has expressed solidarity to the seriously injured doctors. It stated that the organisation is ready for an agitation to press for strong legislation and strict action against hospital violence.
(Full coverage in iebangla)