West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday gave an ultimatum to agitating junior doctors across the state to resume work by 2 pm and warned of action if the order was not followed.
Doctors have demanded protection as the strike enters its fourth day, after two of their colleagues were attacked and seriously injured at the NRS Medical College and Hospital in Kolkata.
Speaking to India Today TV, Banerjee said, "This strike is a BJP conspiracy. The protesters are disrupting medical services. This should end at once." The resident doctors said that there was no administrative pressure on them, and demanded proper security. The channel also quoted them as saying that emergency services have resumed.
Banerjee, who reached the state-run SSKM Hospital around 12.10 pm in the wake of disruption of medical services in several parts of the state over the past three days, directed the police to clear the hospital premises, asserting that no one apart from patients should be allowed on the campus. She had given the doctors a four-hour deadline to rejoin service, but later revised it to 2 pm.
The chief minister claimed that the agitation was part of a conspiracy of her political rivals. "I condemn the agitation. The junior doctors' strike is a conspiracy by the CPM and the BJP," Banerjee, who also holds the health and family welfare portfolio, said.
The TMC chief alleged that outsiders had entered medical colleges and hospitals to create disturbances. She also accused the BJP of trying to give the strike a communal colour.
"The BJP, with help from the CPM, is indulging in Hindu-Muslim politics. I am shocked to see their love affair," Banerjee said. "BJP chief Amit Shah is encouraging his party cadre to create communal tension and run propaganda on Facebook." Senior BJP leader Mukul Roy had alleged that members of a particular community had carried out the attack on doctors and that the perpetrators belonged to the TMC.
The doctors, who have been agitating since Tuesday, raised "we want justice" slogans before the chief minister.
Despite the warning, the protesters were seen continuing with their agitation at the SSKM Hospital. Sources said a joint platform of doctors would be meeting the governor shortly to submit a deputation in connection with the ongoing agitation.
Members of Resident Doctors' Association of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) are now working while wearing helmets and bandages, as a mark of protest against "worsening of violence against medical doctors in West Bengal," ANI reported.
With inputs from agencies
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Updated Date: Jun 13, 2019 16:04:40 IST