Mob killing of doctor: Doctors strike, resignations in Assam

Doctors across Assam went on a 24-hour strike against the alleged killing of an on-duty medical officer of a tea estate by a mob, while several doctors of tea estates resigned from their positions on September 3.

Condemnation of the doctor’s killing continued to pour in with the World Medical Association writing to the Indian prime minister, demanding protection of doctors.

All Out Patient Departments (OPD) and other services, except the emergency services, were closed in all hospitals of the state for 24-hours from 0600 hours this morning, in response to the strike called by the state chapter of the Indian Medical Association.

The government as well as private hospitals remained closed, except for emergency services, throughout the state.

The strike had been called against the alleged killing of a doctor of Teok Tea Estate, Deven Dutta, by tea garden workers over the death of a patient on August 31 last.

Over 35 arrests have been made so far by Jorhat police in the case.

Meanwhile, at least five medical officers of different tea estates, mostly in eastern Assam where the incident had taken place, have resigned from their positions.

The doctors of Kakajan, Hunuwal, Bhelaguri and Numaligarh tea estates, among others, have tendered their resignations, tea industry sources said.

The incident led to reaction outside the state also, with the World Medical Association today issuing a statement condemning the incident.

WMA president Leonid Eidelman said the case was yet another horrific example of the increasing trend of violence against health professions in India and across the world.

In a letter to India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Eidelman said, “Health professionals are threatened and attacked, sometimes even when they provide life-saving emergency care. They can be the deliberate targets of violence and used as scapegoats, such as in the case of Dutta”.

Eidelman said the latest incident required a robust response from the Indian government to address the root causes of violence.

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