BENGALURU: The 24-hour state-wide protest by doctors which started at 6am on Friday was called off by the Indian Medical Association (IMA), Karnataka State Chapter, by 3pm the same day. The doctors took to the streets to protest an alleged assault on a junior doctor at Minto Eye Hospital by Karnataka Rakshana Vedike (KRV) activists on November 1. However, the protest was called off after it was confirmed that at least 12 KRV activists had surrendered at the VV Puram Police station around 12pm on Friday.
Junior doctors and students have been protesting for the last eight days outside Victoria Hospital OPD. The protesting doctors demanded extra security guards be deployed in the hospital along with CCTV cameras.
The doctors were relieved after news broke out that the activists had surrendered. However, their joy did not last long as the activists were released on bail the same evening. Before this, they were taken for a medical examination and then produced before the magistrate.
“We were informed (about them surrendering) in the afternoon and then after a meeting we called off the strike. However, we had to wait for eight days for justice. The government and the police should take immediate action in such cases,” said Dr Madhusudhana Kariganur, president of IMA (Karnataka state branch).
A disappointed junior resident doctor of Bangalore Medical College Research Institute said, “I cannot call it justice as they got bail in the evening. They were not in jail from more than an hour. It should have been a non-bailable offence.”
RDA core committee member Dr Samarth, BMCRI, said, “The accused have all been booked and arrested. The government has assured us that doctors will be provided with security, in writing. We take this as a massive win. The medical fraternity should remember this day. The protest was our right. The arrest and the assured security was our win. The bail they got was the system’s failure. But we still believe the culprits can’t roam around for long.”
Speaking on condition of anonymity, a KRV activist, who was arrested, said, “Our surrender is not our defeat. We did it for the patients who were affected as the doctors were not attending to them due to the strike. We will continue our fight for justice for all the 22 patients who were affected by botched up cataract surgeries performed on them.”