Doctors' stir turns serious, 300 medical college teachers quit

The tussle between the police and medicos took a serious turn on Saturday with nearly 300 teachers of Ganesh Shankar Vidhyarthi Memorial Medical College here tendering resignations in protest against the arrest of around three dozen resident doctors for alleged clash with Samajwadi Party MLA's supporters in Swaroop Nagar late on Friday night. As reports that seven patients died due to the doctors' strike in city hospitals came in, the administration ordered a magisterial probe into the entire episode.

"We submitted our resignation to GSVM principal Prof Navneet Kumar on Saturday evening. Prof Kumar has assured us to forward it to the state government on Monday," said Dr Aarti Lal Chandani, president of the Indian Medical Association (Kanpur) and senior faculty member of GSVM.

"We are into a very noble profession but when our voices are not heard, we have no other option but to go on strike," added Dr Chandani. Demanding that doctors arrested in fake cases be freed immediately, Dr Chandani asked the authorities to initiate strict action against the guilty police officer and police and PAC personnel.

The IMA, Kanpur, as well as IMA's UP branch have condemned the police action. "The police have crossed all limits this time. The doctors will not back out as it is a matter of our dignity," said Dr Chandani. The IMA doctors have called for a statewide indefinite strike on Sunday. They also boycotted the OPD services at all levels, Dr Chandani added.

The district administration, meanwhile, ordered a magisterial inquiry into the Friday night violence. District magistrate Roshan Jacob said, "We have ordered a magisterial inquiry and sought the report within 15 days A senior official will conduct the probe into the incident." Over the death of seven patients, she, however, said, "We are trying to collect the facts in this regard."

The ongoing strike of doctors has paralysed medical care at government and private hospitals. Reports said the strike that started on Friday night has claimed lives of seven patients. The doctors had gone on an indefinite strike to protest arrest of around three dozen doctors for alleged clash with SP MLA Irfan Solanki's supporters in Swaroop Nagar on Friday.

The strike has crippled health services at the emergency units and OPD (out-patient department) of Lala Lajpat Rai Hospital and Cardiology and Cancer Institute of the Ganesh Shanker Vidhyarthi Memorial Medical College in the city.

Doctors of other districts including the state capital have also pledged their support for the striking doctors in the City condemning the "police action".

More than 1,500 government, semi-government and private doctors in Kanpur supported the GSVM students and demanded a legal case against Solanki and suspension of SSP Yashashvi Yadav.

The strike was also supported by six other medical colleges in the state -- in Agra, Saifai, Allahabad, Meerut, Jhansi and Lucknow. While emergency services continued at these hospitals, the junior doctors kept away from duty in support of their colleagues in Kanpur.

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