Resident doctors from Delhi’s biggest government hospitals have been who are protesting the delay in counselling and college allotments following the NEET-PG exam. These delays are reportedly due to cases over a new quota for economically backward sections. On Monday, their peaceful march towards the Supreme Court was met with brute force by the Delhi police. The authorities filed an FIR against those protesting for rioting and damaging public property among other allegations. At least 50 doctors including the president of the Federation of Resident Doctors’ Association (FORDA), one of the leading groups in the protests were detained by the police.
The protests over NEET-PG counselling delays that have been going on for almost a month, resulted in a police crackdown that shocked the nation. Doctors and students were manhandled by police and images of protestors being dragged away have surfaced online. All this, amidst a global pandemic and the looming threat of Omicron. In a time where governments must support the medical fraternity, India seems to be doing the opposite.
Talking about the mistreatment of doctors, Dr Anuj Aggarwal who is the general secretary of the doctors’ association said “There is no respect left for Covid warriors. We are shocked and in disbelief at what happened today. Both male and female doctors were dragged on the road. Several people were injured, some had lacerations from being dragged, others got hit against the barricades, and still other received injuries to their hand when the bus door was closed on it,” as per reports in Indian Express.
Thousands of doctors being detained at Sarojini Nagar Police Station!@rashtrapatibhvn @VPSecretariat @FordaIndia @IMAIndiaOrg @delhimediasso @ArvindKejriwal @SatyendarJain @INCIndia @AshishOnGround @AshishOnGround @IndiaToday @TheQuint @thewire_in @ndtv @ndtvindia @abplivenews pic.twitter.com/wPM4NDfbkX
— RDA_UCMS & GTBH (@RdaUcms) December 27, 2021
Light of the unfortunate events, the Federation of All India Medical Association (FAIMA) have now called a shutdown of medical services starting from 8 AM IST on December 29 while FORDA has called for a shutdown starting Monday following the detainment of doctors and protestors in a statement calling the clash a “Black day” in history.
#PressRelease: We strongly condemn this brutal act & demand immediate release of all #ResidentDoctors. There will be complete #Shutdown of Healthcare Institutions. #MedicalFraternity of the nation must come forward in support. We urge all State #RDAs to join the agitation! @ANI pic.twitter.com/ipbOxcnGFN
— FORDA INDIA (@FordaIndia) December 27, 2021
The police violence that ensued in Delhi has garnered criticism from netizens who are showing their solidarity with India’s medical fraternity and calling it the government on its negligence of essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
It’s been more than a month that the doctors are protesting and today they (mostly women)were even lathicharged and harrassed by male police officers.
— Samriddhi K Sakunia (@Samriddhi0809) December 27, 2021
They’re the same doctors sacrificed everything in #COVID19,were the backbone of nation’s defense against COVID,
Now brutally thrashed manhandled protesting not for themselves,but for nation #ExpediteNEETPGCounselling2021 #neetpg2021counselling @FordaIndia @ShashiTharoor pic.twitter.com/qx2yaDltJ8
— Dr.J.Mohammed Hussain (@DoctorHussain96) December 27, 2021
What else you can expect from this government and administration. #Doctors have some genuine demands, but see what are they getting in return.
–@FordaIndia#neetpg2021counselling#NEET #neetcounselling #NeetPGcounselling2021 #NEETUG pic.twitter.com/9oEL4MtEgQ
— Vivek D Kumar (@vivek_dkumarr) December 27, 2021
— Dr. Anujeet Paul (@freezethawed) December 27, 2021
If this is how doctors especially those who hv been working so hard throughout the covid times are treated in our country, noone should ever take up medicine here.
These young pg doctors are the future of our health-care and this is not what they deserve.#neetpg2021counselling pic.twitter.com/VeZx6rmQdB
— Ashvind Bawa, MS, FACS (@doctorbawaa) December 27, 2021
Cover image: RDA_UCMS & GTBH/Twitter