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Junior doctors call off strike after HC intervention

LUCKNOW: Indian Medical Association (IMA) called off doctors’ strike on Thursday after Allahabad High Court promised judicial inquiry in arrest of doctors after a scuffle with an SP MLA in Kanpur.

The doctors were on strike since February 28. Around 33 patients died due to lack of medical aid during the five-day strike.

UP government also removed SSP Kanpur Yashasvee Singh. An FIR was also lodged against SP MLA Irfan Solanki, who was involved in the scuffle with doctors.

Hearing a PIL on Thursday, a division bench of Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice DK Upadhyay expressed displeasure over the death of patients due to strike. The HC rapped the junior doctors for not returning to work at some places despite its orders issued on Wednesday.

The court also rapped the UP government for imposing ESMA on striking doctors. The bench termed it as ‘state’s violence’. It directed additional advocate general Bulbul Godial to convey to the government to restore services in hospitals. It postponed the hearing till 2 pm for state’s response.

When the hearing resumed, Godial and Chief Standing Counsel were present in the court along with principal secretary home Anil Kumar Gupta and secretary medical education BS Bhullar. They told the court that an FIR was registered against Solanki, doctors have returned to work and a judicial commission will probe the incident. The bench said police action could not be justified.

The court directed the commission to probe cops’ role in the incident as well and told the government to act against erring cops. It said that it would consider for grant of compensation to the victim doctors at next hearing on March 10.

All 24 medical students of GSVM Medical Collge, where the scuffle took place on Friday, were released from jail on bail.

Resident doctors at King George’s Medical University in Lucknow also ended their strike.

Junior doctors at Motilal Nehru Medical College, Allahabad and institute of medical sciences,Banaras Hindu University had withdrawn strike on Wednesday.

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