Since Monday night, doctors in West Bengal are having a tough time in the state. At the NRS Medical College and Hospital in Kolkata, nearly 200 people descended on its premises and attacked doctors and interns after Mohammed Sayeed, apparently an 85-year-old man, died due to natural causes as per the medical fraternity. Two junior doctors were critically injured with one of them believed to be in coma.
Now, another medical college has been attacked, allegedly by families of patients, after the Doctors shut down services in solidarity with the protesting students at the NRS hospital. As per reports, stones were pelted at students and interns of the Burdwan Medical College and Hospital (BMCH) as a consequence of which four students have been injured.
“The doctors were peacefully holding a dharna when some hooligans pelted stones from outside around 11 a.m. One intern Mayank Agarwal, 22, was seriously hurt on the forehead, while three others received minor injuries,” Amitava Saha, Deputy Superintendent of the hospital, told IANS.
There are attempts being made by a certain media outlet to deny that such a thing ever occurred. The Quint quoted Dr. Utpal, Medical Superintendent cum Vice-Principal at the college, to claim that such violence did not occur.
However, as is clear from Amitava Saha’s statement to IANS, the doctors were pelted with stones and some of them were injured. Sources have confirmed to OpIndia.com as well that doctors at the institution were pelted with stones.
The violence occurred at the institution late night on Tuesday and continued on Wednesday. Aniruddha Hazra, a junior doctor, was reportedly injured on Tuesday. Allegedly, apart from patient parties, local goons got involved as well.
Social media is flooded with the images of the injured junior doctors. The images clearly show that individuals have been gravely injured. Videos are also being circulated which allegedly show a mob pelting stones at the doctors.
According to some accounts, the goons who attacked the doctors at BMCH were associated with the ruling political dispensation. However, OpIndia.com can neither confirm or deny such allegations. In this particular instance, too, the Police were said to be mute spectators. Allegedly, female students at the institution were injured as well.
OpIndia.com was told by a source who was an eyewitness to the entire series of events, “When we sat for a protest in front of the Emergency gates, suddenly stones started being pelted at us. Then, the agitated crowds barged into the institution and continued pelting stones at us. Many people were injured, interns and students. We somehow managed to protect ourselves in a room at the Emergency section. The Police were present but did not help us. We could hear people screaming outside. We were stuck for nearly 2 hours. Only then the Police cleared the people and we somehow managed to escape.”
Another source told us, “A student of the Dental College was stopped on his bike by the mob and attacked viciously. He suffered severe injuries. He was stopped after they saw the medical symbol on his bike. There is another student who has been critically injured as well.” This source, too, suggested the involvement of local goons. We were further told that despite the violence being stopped, the situation remains tense.
People on social media are demanding the resignation of the Health Minister. Such calls were already being made after the violence at NRS hospital and such calls are gaining momentum after the violence at BMCH. The violence at NRS Hospital followed by the violence at BMCH reflect the continuous deteriorating law and order situation in the state under Mamata Banerjee.
Meanwhile, protests by the medical fraternity continue. As we had reported earlier, the protesting junior doctors are demanding concrete and immediate action against the perpetrators of the vicious attack on Monday night and also an inquiry into police inaction over the matter.
Patients and their families were already suffering due to the disruption in normal services as a consequence of the protests. Now, the attack on students and interns at BMCH will be further fuel to the fire that is already burning. The state government must take immediate steps to assuage the concerns of the medical fraternity. Failure to do so would cause further chaos and will result in casualties which is completely avoidable.