Striking junior doctors turned down West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s invitation for a meeting at the State Secretariat, which was called to resolved the impasse, and continued their protest for the fifth consecutive day on Saturday.
The doctors, who are protesting against the assault on two of their colleagues at NRS Medical College and Hospital, had on Friday sought unconditional apology from Banerjee and set six conditions for the state government in order to withdraw their stir.
“We are not going to the secretariat upon the invitation of the Chief Minister for the meeting. She will have to come to the Nil Ratan Sircar Medical College and Hospital and deliver an unconditional apology for her comments made during her visit to the SSKM Hospital on Thursday,” Arindam Dutta, spokesperson of the joint forum of junior doctors, told PTI.
“If she can go to the SSKM she can also come to the NRS… or else this agitation will go on,” Mr. Dutta said.
Ms. Banerjee, who visited the state-run SSKM Hospital on Thursday amid slogans of “we want justice”, had contended that outsiders were creating disturbances in the medical colleges and the ongoing agitation is a conspiracy by the CPI(M) and the BJP.
On Friday night, the agitating junior doctors declined to attend a meeting called by the Chief Minister at the state secretariat, saying it was a ploy to break their stir.
After seeing that the protesting doctors did not turn up on Friday night, Ms. Banerjee asked the students to come to Nabanna, the state secretariat, at 5pm on Saturday, senior physician Sukumar Mukherjee said.
Mr. Mukherjee along with other senior doctors, who were not part of the agitation, met Ms. Banerjee on Friday.
They held a two-hour-long meeting with the Chief Minister at the secretariat to find a solution to the ongoing problem.
Governor calls to resolve crisis
Notably, over 300 senior doctors across various state-run medical college and hospitals resigned from their services in solidarity with their agitating colleagues.
Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi last evening invited Banerjee to Raj Bhawan for a meeting to resolve the crisis. Ms/ Banerjee, however, did not respond.
“I tried to contact the chief minister. I called her up. Till this moment there is no response from her. If she calls me up, we will discuss the matter,” the governor told reporters after visiting Paribaha Mukhopadhyay, the doctor who was assaulted, at a hospital on Friday night.
Meanwhile, resident doctors of AIIMS and Safdarjung Hospital in Delhi have given a 48-hour ultimatum to Banerjee to meet the demands of the agitating doctors, failing which they said they would go on an indefinite strike.
48-hour ultimatum to Mamata
Resident doctors of AIIMS and Safdarjung Hospital, who boycotted work on Friday, have now given a 48-hour ultimatum to Ms.Mamata Banerjee to meet the demands of the State’s agitating doctors, failing which they said they would go on indefinite strike. Members of the AIIMS Resident Doctors Association (RDA), who resumed work on Saturday, said that if the demands of the West Bengal doctors are not met within 48 hours, they would be forced to resort to an indefinite strike.
“We condemn the hostile and unapologetic attitude of the government of West Bengal. Our protest at AIIMS, New Delhi continues until justice is meted out.
“According to the decision taken in a general body meeting held on June 14, RDA issues an ultimatum of 48 hours to the West Bengal government to meet the demands of the striking doctors there, failing which we would be forced to resort to an indefinite strike at AIIMS, New Delhi. We hope that our colleagues across the nation will join us in this hour of need,” the AIIMS RDA said in a statement.
Protesting doctors turn down Mamata’s invite for talks, say CM has to apologise first – The Hindu