GUWAHATI: Doctors across Assam resorted to a 24-hour “withdrawal of non-emergency medical services” on Tuesday in protest against the killing of a 73-year-old colleague by a mob of tea garden workers in Jorhat district on Saturday.
During the protest which began at 6 am, the doctors took out rallies and held sit-in stirs. They demanded security for medical practitioners at their workplace.
Some organisations of the doctors, led by the Assam branch of Indian Medical Association (IMA), had taken a decision on the withdrawal of non-emergency medical services.
The doctors, including junior medical practitioners, attended to only emergency cases in the state’s six government-run medical college and hospitals, civil hospitals, family referral units and primary health centres.
Earlier, the IMA demanded exemplary punishment for the perpetrators of the crime and stepping up of security in all health establishments including those in tea gardens.
Dr. Deben Dutta, who was serving at Teok Tea estate, was brutally beaten up by some workers after a youth, Somra Majhi, had died in the garden hospital.
The grievously-injured doctor was rescued by the police who rushed him to a local hospital. However, as his condition was critical, the doctor there referred him to the Jorhat Medical College and Hospital (JMCH) but he succumbed to his injuries on the way.
The police said the situation at the garden was under control. So far, 30 people have been arrested in connection with the case.
“Twenty-two people were arrested and they are now in judicial custody. Eight more people have been apprehended and they are being interrogated,” Inspector General of Police Deepak Kedia, who visited the tea garden, told this newspaper.