The chief minister made the allegation hours after her visit to the state-run hospital in the afternoon to take stock of the situation in the wake of disruption of medical services across the state. Mamata claimed that there were ‘outsiders’ present among the agitating SSKM hospital doctors, who “abused” her.
“I went to the emergency section where they could have talked to me, but the language they used when I was there and the manner they abused me. Had somebody else been there in my place, some other action would have followed,” Banerjee told a Bengali news channel on Thursday.
The chief minister, however, said that she had, owing to their young age, forgiven them. “I only wanted them to return to their duties”, said the CM.
Doctors across West Bengal have gone on a strike in protest against the insensitivity shown by the state government towards the attacked doctors in West Bengal. Services have come to a halt over the past three days in emergency wards, outdoor facilities and pathological units of many state-run medical colleges and hospitals and a large number of private medical facilities in the state.
The crisis escalated after Mamata Banerjee accused the protesting doctors of being ‘outsiders’ and dubbed the entire matter a conspiracy by her political opponents. Now, several doctors at the RG Kar Medical College and Hospital in Kolkata have resigned demanding an apology from the Chief Minister for her remarks.
On Thursday, Professor Saibal Kumar Mukherjee and Professor Saurabh Chattopadhyay had also resigned as the Principal and Vice-Principal respectively of NRS Medical College and Hospital, Kolkata.
Moreover, several doctors from RG Kar Medical College and Hospital (RGKMCH), Department of General Medicine at Calcutta National Medical College (CNMC) and North Bengal Hospital, Darjeeling submitted en masse resignation over the State government’s apathy towards the protesting and assaulted doctors.
Several interns and junior doctors had defied Mamata Banerjee’s ultimatum to continue with the strike until their demands are met.
Meanwhile, lakhs of doctors across the country have decided to boycott work for a day to express solidarity with their protesting colleagues in West Bengal.
Union Minister for Health, Dr Harshvarshan has also come out to appeal to Mamata Banerjee, the West Bengal Chief Minister, not to turn the issue of doctors going on strike following violence being unleashed on them as a matter of prestige.
However, this is not the first time Mamata has made this ‘outsider hurling abuses at her’ claim. Last month, Mamata had created a similar fuss confronting people chanting ‘Jai Shri Ram’ slogans and had claimed that they were ‘outsiders’ who were ‘hurling abuses’ at her. Displaying similar intolerance then too, she had put her state officers to work, who on her instructions had unleashed terror on people chanting ‘Jai Shri Ram’ in the state.