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Angry docs go on rampage at SSKM

There was utter chaos at SSKM Hospital tonight, with a mob of more than 200 people, including junior doctors, beating up a group of journalists, and smashing their cameras after chasing them for a stretch of about 100 metres at around 12 a.m. tonight.
They also vandalised the vehicles, including the OB van of a regional television channel, parked nearby.
The junior doctors of the SSKM Hospital have been on indefinite cease-work since yesterday morning over an assault on a doctor and another employee of the hospital by relatives of a patient.
The trouble tonight started after a 6-year-old girl, critically injured in an accident, was brought to the hospital at about 10.30 p.m. She was made to wait for more than one and a half hours before being admitted since the junior doctors of the SSKM hospitals were on cease work.
When the relatives of the victim agitated, more than 500 junior doctors allegedly came out with lathis and threatened them. Some of the eyewitnesses said that they even beat up the relatives of the injured girl. She was then rushed to the Shambhunath Pandit Hospital nearby.
The mob then told the relatives of the admitted patients to vacate the premises. Anticipating trouble, police had cordoned off the area and had sealed the gates of the hospital. More than 10 ambulances with patients were denied entry and several patients at the outdoor ward were sent out. The journalists and cameramen were standing outside the gate of the hospital and were talking to the patients.
At about 12 a.m, a mob of more than 200 people came from the AJC Road crossing shouting, “beat the media people up” and chased the group of journalists and patients standing near the gate till Gurdwara More. They broke cameras and beat up several journalists.
The mob outnumbered the few police personnel on duty near the gate and the latter were virtually swept away by the agitated mob. The cops took shelter inside the gate of the hospital when the mob was advancing towards the journalists. More policemen arrived when the mob had already retreated.
The DC South, Mr Supratim Sarkar, arrived at the spot and asked for a written complaint from the journalists. He also provided then security so that the journalist could go and search for their belongings that were scattered on the road during the attack. A couple of people were later arrested in connection with the incident.
Earlier, the ongoing cease-work by junior doctors at SSKM Hospital allegedly claimed another victim when Ghulam Mustafa Mallik died early in the morning. Relatives of Mallik alleged that he had died because there were no doctors to look after him yesterday.
The patient was admitted to the MCP ward with head injuries on Friday but his condition turned critical today.

Soma Basu

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