Government is trying to suppress voice of junior doctors, they say

As many as 150 junior doctors were arrested at Siddhartha Medical College on Tuesday, when they staged a protest for their demands.

The strike launched by AP Junior Doctors Association (APJUDAs) entered the sixth day on Tuesday.

Arrests condemned

The police shifted the agitating doctors to Patamata police station and the junior doctors staged a dharna demanding that they be given reasons for being arrested.

Condemning the police action, APJUDA, Siddhartha Medical College unit, general secretary P.Hari Kiran said the doctors planned to organise a silent protest on the college campus, but suddenly, the police posse entered and bundled them into vehicles without any warning. When we asked them why they were arresting us there was no proper reply, he alleged.

Genuine demands

APJUDA members were on strike for their genuine demands at Visakhapatnam, Guntur, Warangal, Tirupati and Kurnool colleges, but there was no response from the government and the patients are suffering a lot in hospitals, said Mr. Kiran.

“The police made us sit in the Patamata station for about two hours. We asked the stipend to be paid in time and a hike in pay as per the written agreement given to us. But, the government is trying to suppress the voice of junior doctors with police forces'', said a junior doctor.

Protesting against the arrests, the junior doctors boycotted emergency services in the hospital, and staged a dharna in front of the police station.

Later, they were released on personal sureties.

When contacted Patamata police said the junior doctors were arrested under Section.151 CrPc (Preventive Arrests) and were released later.

Rasta roko

In Guntur, junior doctors took out a rally from Guntur Medical College (GMC) to Sankar Vilas Centre here on Tuesday protesting against the Government's indifference to their grievances and detention of their colleagues in Vijayawada by the police.

Rural service opposed

They are demanding regular payment of stipend, a 15 per cent hike in it once in two years, dropping the proposal to make one year's rural service compulsory, protection during the discharge of their duties and improving facilities in teaching hospitals.

The A.P. Junior Doctors Association (APJUDA) has said that the Government's claim to have released stipend arrears till the month of December 2011 was not enough to give up their agitation.

There were several instances earlier when the Government made promises that stipend would be paid by the first of every month but could not stand by its word.

APJUDA condemned the taking into custody of junior doctors in Vijayawada who were fighting the same cause.

Association district president G. Srikant and vice-president B. Arun Kumar expressed regret that the Government tried to stifle their voice in spite of their protesting in a peaceful manner.

Moreover, their demands are genuine and it was the Government's negligence that forced them to take to the streets.