West Bengal doctors don't pay heed to Mamata's threats, continue protests

The Chief Minister asked agitating junior doctors across the state to resume work within four hours and warned them of action if the order is not followed.

Published: 13th June 2019 04:22 PM  |   Last Updated: 13th June 2019 04:22 PM   |  A+A-

Junior doctors hold placards during a demonstration on 13 June 2019 after an intern doctor was attacked and seriously injured over the death of a 75-year-old patient at Nil Ratan Sircar Medical College and Hospital in Kolkata. (Photo | PTI)

Junior doctors hold placards during a demonstration on 13 June 2019 after an intern doctor was attacked and seriously injured over the death of a 75-year-old patient at Nil Ratan Sircar Medical College and Hospital in Kolkata. (Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday warned agitating junior doctors across the state that action will be taken against them if they failed to resume work by 2 pm. But her threat seems to have gone in vain.

Even though a few Emergency wards and OPDs were operational again the protesting doctors said that their agitation and cease work will go on. They also said that they never forcefully stopped any function of the medical colleges and hospitals but simply refused to work.

Banerjee, who reached the state-run SSKM hospital at 12.10pm, directed police to vacate hospital premises, asserting that no one other than the patients should be allowed on the campus. She also alleged that the agitation was a part of the conspiracy of rival parties.

"I condemn the agitation. The junior doctors' agitation is a conspiracy by the CPI(M) and the BJP," Banerjee, who also holds the health and family welfare portfolio, said.

"The BJP, with help from the CPI(M), is indulging in Hindu-Muslim politics. I am shocked to see their love affair. BJP chief Amit Shah is encouraging his party cadre to create communal tension and run propaganda on Facebook," Banerjee said. She contended that outsiders had entered medical colleges and hospitals to create disturbances.

Senior BJP leader Mukul Roy had alleged that members of a particular community had carried out the attack on doctors and that the perpetrators belonged to the TMC. 

The students, reacting to this, said that her statements were outrageous. "We have never stopped any doctor from going in. The porch in front for the emergency ward was empty throughout these days. We had simply said that we will not work until the government ensures better security for us. But she has threatened us and people, allegedly from her party, have lit and thrown kerosene-filled bottles inside Calcutta National Medical College and Hospital last night. Is this how they treat students?" said one of the agitating doctors. "We are yet to meet our director and decide on a course of action. We are having a general body meeting now. But we will definitely continue the protest."

"All the doctors and medical students attending the protest are completely apolitical and have no political interest whatsoever," said Ashani Kumar Ain, another medical student of NRS Hospital, who is part of the protest.

The doctors, who have been protesting since Tuesday after one of their colleagues were attacked and seriously injured at the NRS hospital in Kolkata, raised "we want justice" slogans before Banerjee.

Emergency wards, outdoor facilities, pathological units of many government medical colleges and hospitals, and a number of private medical facilities in the state have remained closed over the past two days in the wake of the protest.

(This story originally appeared on edexlive.com)

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