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Doctors in Kanpur call off strike

Kanpur (PTI): Doctors in Kanpur today called off their six-day strike against the attack on their colleagues here, a day after the UP government clamped ESMA against striking medicos and the Allahabad High Court stepped in to resolve the deadlock.

Dr Aarti Lal Chandani, IMA Kanpur head, said the strike has been called off and she has joined duty.

Twenty-four junior doctors, who were arrested in connection with the clash with police and supporters of a SP MLA, have been released and efforts would be made to convince them to return to work, Chandani said.

Principal of the Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi Medical College Dr Naveen Kumar said normalcy would soon be restored in the college.

He said the decision to end the strike was taken at 2 AM in the light of the government’s move to clamp ESMA and the high court direction.

All doctors in the faculty have been told to attend to the patients and the OPDs would be functional, he said.

Representatives of the doctors had last night met SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav in Lucknow and he had given them an assurance that their demands would be sympathetically considered, sources said.

On reports that junior doctors want criminal charges dropped against their colleagues before they join duty, he said efforts are on to convince them and they would resume duty today.

The six-day strike, which adversely impacted medical services in several parts of the state, was called up after medicos at GSV Medical College were allegedly beaten up by Kanpur Police and supporters of SP MLA Irfan Solanki following an altercation.

Amidst reports of deaths in different districts of the state due to the strike, UP government yesterday decided to invoke the Essential Services Maintenance Act.

The Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court had yesterday directed UP government to transfer SSP, Kanpur, Yashaswi Yadav, and other officials involved in the February 28 clash, but clarified that it was only to resolve the situation and should not be taken as a “stigma” on the officials.

Taking suo motu cognisance, the Lucknow bench comprising justices Imtiyaz Murtaza and Devendra Kumar Upadhaya had directed a probe by retired Justice VK Mathur into the matter.

However, the state government informed it that a one-man judicial commission under retired justice RMS Chauhan has already been set up, following which the court kept its order in abeyance and directed the state government to file Justice Chauhan Commission’s report in three weeks.

It had also sought replies from the principal secretary medical/health, SGPGI administrator and others by March 10, the next date of hearing.

It had also permitted the striking doctors to intervene in the matter and appointed senior advocate Jaideep Narain Mathur as amicus curiae.

The striking doctors were demanding arrest of Solanki, action against SSP Yadav, and withdrawal of charges against the 24 junior doctors.

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