Striking junior doctors across West Bengal on Thursday refused to end their protest till their demands on security in government hospitals are met and defied a deadline set by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
Mamata Banerjee came down heavily on the protesters alleging that opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Communist Party of India (Marxist) were provoking them and giving communal colour to the issue.
The India Medical Association has declared “All India Protest Day” on Friday against the incident and expressed solidarity with the striking doctors.
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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 remained closed for the third day due to the strike by the doctors who are protesting after two of their colleagues were attacked and seriously injured at the NRS Medical College and Hospital here by a mob following the death of a patient.
- There was high drama as the chief minister reached the state-run SSKM hospital in Kolkata at around noon amid slogans of “we want justice” by the doctors. “I condemn the agitation. The junior doctors’ strike is a conspiracy by the CPI(M) and the BJP,” Mamata Banerjee, who also holds the health and family welfare portfolio, said and directed the police to clear the premises and only allow patients to stay.
- Mamata Banerjee gave the doctors a four-hour deadline to rejoin service, but later revised it to 2 pm. Warning of strict action against those who do not resume work, she said they will have to vacate hostels. Despite Mamata Banerjee’s ultimatum, the agitating doctors continued their stir. A joint platform of doctors met Governor KN Tripathi, who appealed them to resume duties.
- Expressing their regret over being unable to end the strike by protesting Kolkata doctors, Saibal Kumar Mukherjee (principal of NRS Medical College) and Saurabh Chattopadhyay (MSVP) resigned on Thursday.
- The TMC and the BJP are locked in a bitter turf in West Bengal, which has been rocked by post-poll violence, with Mamata Banerjee accusing the saffron party of trying to foment trouble in the state to topple her government. The BJP has claimed that Mamata Banerjee is targeting it as she is rattled by its major gains in Lok Sabha elections.
- Mamata Banerjee described the injuries sustained by the two junior doctors at NRS Medical College and Hospital as “unfortunate”. Five persons have been arrested in connection with the incident, Banerjee said, adding that an enquiry has also been ordered to look into complaint of negligence during treatment, resulting in the death of the patient.
- Mamata Banerjee also wrote to senior doctors of all medical colleges and hospitals in the state and requested them to continue taking care of patients. The opposition parties slammed the CM for her alleged “threats” to agitating doctors and sought her immediate resignation as the health minister.There were reports claiming that over half a dozen doctors at the state-run College of Medicine & Sagar Dutta Hospital in Kamarhati area of North 24 Pargana district resigned in support of the ongoing protests by junior doctors across West Bengal but there was no official confirmation.
- Mamata Banerjee said that the BJP is trying to create a communal tension in West Bengal. She said that BJP asked the doctors not to see and treat the Muslim patients.
- Meanwhile, several resident doctors at the AIIMS in national capital worked with bandages on their heads as a symbolic protest and have decided to boycott work on Friday.- India Today