Doctors attacked by Delhi police call for complete shutdown of services
New Delhi: The peaceful protest by resident doctors in Delhi over the delay in NEET-PG 2021 counselling took an ugly turn after the medics were lathi-charged and "brutally thrashed, dragged, and detained" by the Delhi Police on Monday.This police brutality triggered the doctors who have now called for a nationwide strike from 29th December 2021. A complete shutdown of all healthcare...
New Delhi: The peaceful protest by resident doctors in Delhi over the delay in NEET-PG 2021 counselling took an ugly turn after the medics were lathi-charged and "brutally thrashed, dragged, and detained" by the Delhi Police on Monday.
This police brutality triggered the doctors who have now called for a nationwide strike from 29th December 2021. A complete shutdown of all healthcare institutions will be observed.
A large number of protesting resident doctors took to the streets in the national capital and were marching towards the Supreme Court from Maulana Azad Medical College when they were stopped by the police near ITO.
It has been alleged that the doctors were abused, thrashed during the face-off between the doctors and police personnel and around 2500 medics were detained and taken to Sarojini Nagar police station before being released after some time.
Many women doctors alleged that they were manhandled during the march. Several were injured in the ensuing melee.
General Secretary of FORDA, Dr Kulsaurabh, said around 1,000 resident doctors had started marching from Maulana Azad Medical College around 10 a.m. on Monday.
"We walked a little and were met with police barricades. We sat there peacefully and protested. We told police that we want to march to the Supreme Court and protest outside it like we did outside Nirman Bhawan. But they didn't allow us. Around 4 p.m. they started detaining us, then we were verbally abused and physically assaulted," said Dr Kulsaurabh.
Dr Anuj Agarwal, resident doctor of Safdarjung Hospital, told The Quint, "We were peacefully carrying out our protest for a month and seven days in front of Nirman Bhawan. We have always stood by law and order with utmost respect, but the verbal abuses and physical violence by male policemen on female resident doctors on road openly is extremely shameful and can't be expressed in words. Not only ruthless and barbaric, its of utter shame and disgrace! Police snatching phones of doctors, dragging them by touching female doctors inappropriately is unexplainable in words! This is the respect for COVID warriors! Great."
FORDA president Manish claimed that resident doctors of a large number of major hospitals on Monday "returned their apron (lab coat) in a symbolic gesture of rejection of services".
Besides, a group of doctors had thrown flowers on security barricades, and clanged utensils and clapped in front of the Nirman Bhawan here, saying they were symbolically "returning" the adulation showered on them for being Covid warriors.
WHY RESIDENT DOCTORS ARE PROTESTING IN DELHI?
The resident doctors pan India have been on strike demanding to expedite the NEET PG Counselling.
In July 2021, the Center decided to give 10% reservation to the students from Economically Weaker Sections (EWS), setting the income limit to Rs 8 lakh per annum for such candidates. The Supreme Court, however, had expressed doubt over the limit set by the Centre.
The original NEET PG exam was scheduled in January 2021 but postponed in view of the first and second wave of COVID-19 and held on September 12, 2021. However, due to the legal impediments of the Supreme Court now the Counselling is withheld resulting in a shortage of 45,000 doctors in the frontline, thus adding more to the work-load of the doctors.
COMPLETE SHUTDOWN OF SERVICES
Alleging a "brutal" crackdown by the police force, the angry doctors have now declared a complete shutdown of healthcare services. Spearheading the protest, Federation of Resident Doctors' Association (FORDA) released a statement on Monday terming it as "black day in the history of the medical fraternity".
"There will be a complete shutdown of all healthcare institutions today onwards. We strongly condemn this brutality and demand immediate release of our FORDA representatives and resident doctors," the statement added.
SUPPORT POURS IN
In protest against the police brutality, most RDAs of the country will now participate in the nationwide agitation from 29th December 2021.
The Federation of All India Medical Association (FAIMA) has announced the closure of all health services across the country from 8 am on 29 December in protest against the action of Delhi Police.
The AIIMS Resident Doctors' Association has also come out in support of FORDA, saying it shall shut down all non-emergency services on Wednesday if no adequate response is received from the government within 24 hours.
It has also demanded immediate release of all the doctors detained with unconditional apology from the government and the police.
It further warned, "If no adequate response from the government is received within 24 hours, AIIMS RDA will proceed with a token strike from 29/11/2021, including shutdown of all non-emergency services."
POLICE RETALIATES, FILES FIR
Police denied allegations of lathi charge or use of abusive language from their end, and said, 12 protestors were detained and released later.
Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (Central) Rohit Meena said that the protesters blocked BSZ Marg, the main road between ITO and Delhi gate that caused traffic. "They deliberately created nuisance on the main road and blocked both carriageways, causing hardship and harassment to commuters and general public," Meena said in a statement to PTI.
"After requesting them again to leave the road, they became aggressive and manhandled our personnel when efforts were made to detain them lawfully. Seven police personnel got injured while detaining them. They also broke the glass of police bus," he alleged.
The Delhi Police has lodged an FIR on the charges of rioting, causing obstruction in duty of police personnel, and damaging public property, against the doctors.
Farhat Nasim joined Medical Dialogue an Editor for the Business Section in 2017. She Covers all the updates in the Pharmaceutical field, Policy, Insurance, Business Healthcare, Medical News, Health News, Pharma News, Healthcare and Investment. She is a graduate of St.Xavier’s College Ranchi. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org Contact no. 011-43720751