Assam Government for CBI Inquiry Into Doctor's Death

Despite the Assam health minister's announcement of a CBI probe into the murder of a post-graduate woman medical student inside the ICU of a state run hospital, its striking junior doctors refused to suspend their protest agitation till concrete steps were taken.

"We will recommend a CBI inquiry into the killing (of Sarita Tashniwal of Assam Medical College Hospital here)," Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said today after meeting striking junior doctors of the AMCH protesting against the Friday's killing.

"Till the CBI starts its probe, the state CID will continue with its investigation," he said adding the case would be tried in a fast-track court and the guilty would be brought to book at the earliest.

The minister assured the striking doctors that he would take steps to fulfil their demands by Tuesday.

"Give me time till Tuesday and I assure you that you will see action being taken," Sarma told the doctors.

The Junior Doctors Association, spearheading the agitation, however, refused to suspend their agitation till concrete actions were taken.

The junior doctors are demanding punishment to the accused, security to be stepped up within the campus, proper installation of CCTV cameras for round-the-clock surveillance.

A first year obstetrics and gynaecology PG student, Sarita Tasniwal, was found dead on Friday with a surgical knife stabbed inside her neck on the bed of the doctors resting room inside the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

Khiru Mech, a ward boy of the ICU, who had allegedly tried to rape her before killing her while she was on night duty, was arrested besides four others.

The striking doctors were also demanding resignation of AMCH Principal A K Adhikary, Vice Principal Hemchandra Kalita and Superintendent M Patowary and police re-verification of all ward boys and lower grade staff, a spokesman of the doctors' association said.

On AMCH Principal Dr A K Adhikary's continuous absence from the hospital since the incident, the minister said it was a "serious matter and it will be dealt with seriously".

Biswa Sarma also reviewed the situation with senior doctors, district administration and police officials.

He directed senior doctors and professors, who were attending to patients, to ensure that patients did not suffer.

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