Day 11: Rajasthan doctors strike continues amid reports of deaths
With no end to the doctors strike in sight, medical services in Rajasthan remained paralysed for the 11th day on Tuesday amid reports of deaths trickling in from different parts of the state.
More than 12 deaths have taken place in Ajmer district alone, opposition Congress has claimed.
In view of the High Court directing the state government on Monday to deal strictly with striking doctors, most of the doctors have gone underground in the state fearing arrest.
A Rajasthan High Court division bench headed by Chief Justice Pradeep Nandrajog and D.C. Somani directed the state government to deal sternly with doctors on strike.
"Apprehend doctors under the law and even under the Rajasthan Essential Services Maintenance Act (RESMA) 1970," the High Court directed the state government.
The Rajasthan High Court for the first time remained opened for routine work on Christmas day, i.e. December 25. It heard a PIL filed by Abhinav Sharma, an advocate, requesting the Chief Justice to take up the matter urgently as doctors had called for a closure of all kinds of medical services, including private medical hospitals and medicine shops on December 25.
The strike is gradually taking a political hue, with the Congress accusing the state machinery of instilling fear among the doctor fraternity.
Speaking to the media, Congress leader Sachin Pilot on Tuesday said the state government was responsible for the crippling of medical services in Rajasthan. The government should shed its adamant attitude and start a dialogue with the doctors to ensure an early end to the strike, he said.
"How can the government be so insensitive? Why can't it see so many people dying owing to lack of medical services in the state. Over a dozen people have died in Ajmer which speaks a lot of the failed medical services here. But, the state government is yet to listen to the problems of doctors," Pilot added.
Earlier, the All Rajasthan In-Service Doctors Association lawyer had said that the doctors would resume work only after "the vindictive action" against them was stopped.
The lawyer had said the government should withdraw the transfer orders of 12 in-service doctors, including the President of All Rajasthan In-Service Doctors Association.
Initially, the doctors had planned to go on mass leave on December 15 against the transfers, but the government invoked RESMA and started arresting doctors, he had said on behalf of the striking doctors. - IANS