Doctors striking in West Bengal have defied Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s orders and have said that their protests will continue until their demands for adequate security are met.
According to ANI, members of the Joint Platform of Doctors met Governor Kesari Nath Tripathi and informed him of the decision to continue the protests that entered day three on Thursday.
ANI quoted the doctors as saying, “We demand adequate security in every medical college and hospital, and proper action against those who attacked doctors in NRS Hospital on 10 June. We will resume working as soon as our demands are fulfilled.”
This comes even as Banerjee on Thursday gave an ultimatum to the striking junior doctors of state run hospitals to call of their strike within four hours. The deadline was at 2 pm.
PTI reported that Banerjee threatened to take action against the doctor if they did not abide by her directions.
Meanwhile, resident doctors of AIIMS in New Delhi showed solidarity with their West Bengal counterparts wearing bandages and helmets to work, and put out a statement urging doctors from other parts of the country to join the protests.
Banerjee visited the SSKM Hospital in Kolkata as strikes by the doctors entered day three hampering medical service facilities across the state.
Agitating junior doctors raised ‘we want justice’ slogans as Banerjee arrived.
NDTV reported that Banerjee said that doctors who don’t get back to work would be asked to leave the hostels. She was quoted in the report as saying, “They are outsiders. The government will not support them in any way. I condemn doctors who have gone on strike. Policemen die in line of duty but the police don’t go on a strike.”
The protesting doctors began their agitation demanding fool-proof security following an assault on them by a mob after the death of a patient at Kolkata’s NRS Hospital.
The incident of assault took place at a state-run medical college and hospital on Monday night, leaving an intern seriously injured and the strike, which was initiated there, spread to medical institutions in the districts.
Emergency wards, outdoor facilities, pathological units of most of the state-run medical college hospitals and a number of private medical facilities in the state remained closed.
However, services in the indoor patient department were not affected, sources said.
The state government on Wednesday had asked the junior doctors to withdraw the strike and resume their duties, but the agitators were in no mood to relent and demanded intervention of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who also holds the health and family welfare portfolio.
(With PTI inputs)