Resident doctors call for total shutdown after police action

Doctors body says protesters thrashed, abused; Delhi police deny allegations

Resident doctors, who have been boycotting work as a protest against delay in PG NEET counselling, on Monday said they were “brutally thrashed, dragged, and detained” by the Delhi Police.

The doctors were marching towards the Supreme Court when they were stopped by the police near ITO in the afternoon. They were detained and later released, a statement from the Federation of Resident Doctors’ Association (FORDA) said.

“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 said.

However, the police said 12 doctors were detained and taken to Rajinder Nagar Police Station after which they were let off. A senior police officer said no doctor was thrashed.

“We had been trying to pacify them since 9:30 a.m. but to no avail. They wanted to go to Supreme Court and that’s when we had to detain them. During detention, they got violent and also broke the windows of our bus,” the officer said.

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.

About 5,000 to 6,000 resident doctors in the city boycotted work on Monday, including COVID-19 duty, Dr. Kulsaurabh said.

“A Black Day in the history of Medical fraternity of the nation. Resident Doctors, the so called “Corona Warriors”, protesting peacefully to #ExpediteNEETPGCounselling2021 in Delhi were brutally thrashed, dragged & detained by the cops. The medical fraternity of the nation must condemn this act in strongest words & come forward in support. We urge all State RDAs of the nation to join the agitation! We all stand united in this fight against injustice,” the statement said.

The boycott which began earlier this month was called off on December 9 after the doctors were given assurances that the counselling schedule will be released in a week. But it didn’t happen and they resumed the strike from December 17.

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