LUCKNOW: A minor dispute over treatment of a patient at Sir Sunder Lal (SSL) Hospital of Banaras Hindu University (BHU) on Monday evening snowballed into a major controversy followed by violent clashes between the students and resident doctors on the campus, in which several persons from both the sides sustained injuries.
Police claimed both the sides indulged in arson and brick-batting. A former BHU student was later arrested on the complaint of junior doctors. The situation was brought under control on Tuesday morning after the visits of district magistrate Surendra Singh and SSP Anand Kulkarni to the campus and deployment of heavy police force. However, the university administration has suspended all classes till September 28 in view of the unrest.
According to sources, former BHU student Shivajit Kumar had gone to SSL Hospital for the treatment of his relative. When the doctors on duty allegedly refused to admit the patient, an altercation broke out between Shivajit and one of the resident doctors on duty. On the complaint of junior doctors, Shivajit was arrested and the proctorial board of BHU and Lanka police were immediately informed about the incident.
However, the situation took a turn for worse when inmates of several hostels of BHU came out in support of Shivajit setting one of the security booths afire on campus. They later clashed with junior doctors and violence continued till late night. Some junior doctors were also attacked by students at a restaurant outside the campus around midnight. After failing to control the situation, the proctorial board headed by Dr Royana Singh, called in police who chased away the students.
"Shivajit has been booked under sections 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace) of IPC," said Lanka Inspector Bharat Bhushan Tiwari.
Due to violence throughout Monday night, hospital functioning remained disrupted on Tuesday. However, the hospital administration denied that doctors were on strike. "The OPD and emergency services continued to function normally as per schedule. A crisis management group of doctors was constituted to handle the situation and maintain smooth functioning of the hospital," medical superintendent of SSL Hospital Prof. Vijay Nath Mishra said.
In view of the violence, the BHU administration has suspended all classes till September 28 and asked the inmates of five hostels to vacate their rooms within 24 hours. The standing committee of BHU will investigate the sequence of incidents and report to the vice-chancellor at the earliest.