5 patients die as UP docs go on strike

Medicos call for action against MLA, suspension of top district cop

At least five patients died for want of treatment after hundreds of doctors went on strike in Uttar Pradesh’s Kanpur town, about 90 kilometres from here, in protest against what they alleged was police brutality following a clash between junior doctors and supporters of a Samajwadi party legislator on Friday evening.

Showing solidarity with their colleagues, doctors in Lucknow, Agra, Meerut and some other places also went on strike paralysing health services in large parts of the state. 

Health services came to a halt after the doctors at major government hospitals, including the medical college, struck work demanding action against the SP MLA Irfan Solanki and suspension of district police chief Yashashvi Yadav.

Several doctors, passers-by and even scribes had sustained injuries when police made a lathi charge on the doctors inside the medical college.

 Around two dozen junior doctors have been taken into custody while a medical student was reported to be missing. The trouble had sparked off after the SP MLA reportedly intervened in a fight between a doctor and an old man in front of the hospital on Friday evening. 

A group of junior doctor allegedly thrashed the MLA, his gunners and also damaged his vehicle. The MLA suffered serious injuries on his head and other parts of his body, sources said. Later the MLA’s supporters also arrived there and a pitched battle ensued between the two sides during which shots were also fired.

The SP supporters also attacked another hospital in the town a little later and roughed up the doctors and damaged window panes and other things. The police, which arrived at the scene a little later, allegedly chased the doctors inside the medical college campus and assaulted them after entering their hostels.

The Indian Medical Association's UP chapter has condemned the police brutality and demanded suspension of the Kanpur police chief. A magisterial probe has been ordered into the incident, police said.

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