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Last Updated : Jun 13, 2019 04:19 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Opposition parties in West Bengal add political colour as doctors continue protest

CPM's student wing SFI took out a protest march while Congress MP Adhir Chowdhury said Mamata Banerjee should sit with the doctors to find a solution

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A hospital in Kolkata wears a deserted look amid protests by doctors (Image: PTI)
A hospital in Kolkata wears a deserted look amid protests by doctors (Image: PTI)

After a clash erupted between junior doctors and relatives of a patient at the state-run Nilratan Sircar Medical College in Kolkata, the issue has quickly turned political, according to a report by Indian Express.

Opposition parties in West Bengal, led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), have made the issue a rallying point for political agenda. West Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh claimed that "even doctors are not feeling safe under this government", referring to the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress government in West Bengal.

"These people are bringing mobs from outside. I wonder why police officials are so active when it comes to stopping BJP's rally, but fail to stop doctors from being beaten up in NRS? All anti-social people of one particular community are doing this under police protection," Ghosh reportedly said.

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The saffron party, according to the report, is trying to frame the incident in context of the religion of those who attacked the doctors. According to reports, family members of Mohammed Shahid had allegedly assaulted the junior doctors, reportedly turning the hospital premises into a battlefield.

Ghosh's remark also referred to the clashes between the Kolkata Police and BJP workers on Bepin Behari Ganguly Street on June 12. The police had used tear gas and water cannons against BJP workers protesting against the TMC government.

Earlier, on June 12, senior BJP leader Mukul Roy had made a similar statement, according to a report by Times of India.

"Trouble broke out at NRS over the death of a patient from a particular community. Trinamool men led the rampage inside the hospital. They beat up a doctor who is now in coma. The CM could not get the time to pay a visit to the hospital. Is she trying to shield a particular community?" Roy had reportedly said.

According to the same TOI report, protesting doctors have stated that no communal twist should be given to the incident.

"We are angry with the government for not taking any tangible steps to ensure security for doctors despite meeting different forums several times and assuring security. But, at the same time, we do not support statements by politicians that have communal connotations," Shardwad Mukhopadhyay, an oncologist, said.

Other opposition parties also criticised the state government. While the Students Federation of India (SFI), the student wing of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), took out a protest march, Congress Member of Parliament (MP) Adhir Chowdhury said Banerjee should sit with the doctors to find a solution.

"The CM should immediately sit with agitating doctors and find a solution. Security of doctors is a serious issue and so is treatment of common people," Chowdhury said, according to the Indian Express report.

Meanwhile, junior doctors and interns across 13 medical college hospitals and at least six district hospitals are holding a "cease-work" agitation. Banerjee on June 13 stated that all doctors taking part in the agitation will "face consequences" if they do not resume duty within four hours, but the doctors reportedly remain defiant.

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First Published on Jun 13, 2019 04:19 pm
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