UP doctors strike intensifies, talks fail to end deadlock, Akhilesh Yadav given ultimatum

Written by Press Trust of India | Kanpur/Lucknow | Updated: Mar 5 2014, 03:58am hrs
The Uttar Pradesh (UP) doctors' stir that has hit health services in several parts of state today intensified with 200 medicos in Agra joining the resignation spree to protest the attack on their colleagues in Kanpur, even as talks with the government failed to end the deadlock.

As the protest entered the fifth day, the IMA gave a 48-hour ultimatum to the Akhilesh Yadav government to fulfil its demands-- arrest of SP MLA Irfan Solanki allegedly involved in the Friday clash, action against SSP Yashasvi Yadav and withdrawal of charges against 24 junior doctors, who were granted bail last night but refused to come out of jail.

In Lucknow, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav held talks with senior officials and a team representing the protesting doctors, and promised to take action against the MLA "if found guilty". But the striking doctors appeared dissatisfied with the outcome.

"The inquiry into the entire matter is going on and if SP MLA Irfan Solanki is found guilty, action will be initiated against him. I appeal doctors to end their strike," Yadav told reporters here.

To deal with the situation arising due to the strike, Yadav held a meeting with senior officers including Principal Secretary Home and others tonight, sources said.

"Chief Minister has assured to withdraw cases on junior doctors but we are not satisfied with it. We, however, have appealed junior doctors to continue working in Emergency", King George's Medical University Teachers Association General Secretary Naeem Ahmad told PTI after meeting Yadav.

The talks came as around 200 junior doctors of Agra Medical College tendered their resignation to state government, a day after 300 medical faculty of GSV medical college in Kanpur quit.

The junior doctors of Lucknow's KGMU, who continued their strike affecting medical services, along with teachers and IMA office bearers took out a march from university to the Assembly building to press their demands.

The issue has also taken a political dimension with Opposition BJP and Aam Aadmi Party extending support to the stir, that has also affected Lucknow, Varanasi, Aligarh, Ghaziabad, among other areas.

BJP youth wing workers were lathicharged by the police in Lucknow during their protest in support of agitating junior doctors, the party claimed.

The protest resonated in Delhi also with resident doctors of prestigious AIIMS sporting black badges and holding a candlelight vigil to express solidarity with the striking doctors.

"The strike of junior doctors will continue till the three demands of the Kanpur doctors were met," said vice president of Indian Medical Association's UP unit and president of Agra unit Dr Sudhir Dhakre.

The agitating doctors, led by IMA, said they were trying to meet the President and the Prime Minister in New Delhi to apprise him of the situation.

Medical services were severely affected in several parts of Uttar Pradesh causing major inconvenience to patients.

When asked about inquiry on the basis of CCTV footage, Ahmad claimed that it was not fair to do so as the junior doctors were brutally beaten by the police inside their hostels and there was no footage of that.

In Aligarh, health services remained paralysed due to the strike of junior doctors of Jawaharlal Nehru Medical college, AMU to protest Kanpur incident.

Tariq Mansoor, Principal of the Medical college told reporters that the hospital had made arrangements to attend serious cases at the Emergency department.

He said that senior specialists had deployed through an emergency rooster to ensure that out patients department (OPD) services continue to function.

Doctors and junior colleagues from KGMC Medical College, Lucknow and super speciality Sanjay Gandhi PGI hospital have also gone on strike in solidarity with the Kanpur medicos.

Ganesh Shankar Medical College Medicine department head and IMA-Kanpur president Dr Aarti Lal Chandani and Junior Doctors Association chief Dr N K Singh said all medical college doctors in the state will continue their stir until charges against their arrested colleagues are annulled.

Meanwhile, the agitation also took a political dimension with AAP and BJP extending support.

AAP leaders Kumar Vishwas and Sanjay Singh met striking doctors here today and extended their support to the agitation. Last night, BJP UP unit president Laxmikant Vajpayi met doctors at the GSV medical college. Former BJP MP Shyam Bihar Mishra is chalking out further strategy on the agitation and planning a sit in with the striking doctors.

A clash broke out on Friday night between supporters of SP's Aryanagar MLA Irfan Solanki and junior doctors of the GSV Medical college, after the MLA objected to some junior doctors allegedly misbehaving with an elderly person at the Medical College Square, Kanpur SSP Yashasvi Yadav had said.

Following unruly scenes, the police resorted to lathicharge to disperse the crowd, in which several people, including police personnel, journalists and the MLA was also injured, he had said.

Almost 400 medical students and junior doctors got injured and a dozen are serious, Chandani had said.

According to DM (City) Avinash Singh, the arrested 24 junior doctors, who were granted bail by a local court last night, refused to come out of jail today until all charges against them were quashed and other demands met.