30 including journalists injured; probe ordered

At least 30 people, including nine journalists, were injured in four-hour-long violence at the Agartala Medical College and Hospital on Friday, following the death of a patient. Properties in buildings were ransacked, windowpanes broken, cameras damaged and motorbikes set on fire. Personnel of the Paramilitary Tripura State Rifles were deployed on the hospital and medical college campus. The State government has ordered an enquiry into the incident involving ordinary people, medical students and doctors.

Junior doctors on strike

Meanwhile, interns and junior doctors have started a 48-hour strike in Tripura’s premier hospital to protest attacks on them and demand adequate security on the campus. Journalists also warned of an agitation if the police failed to arrest “guilty inmates” of the medical college hostels.

The police said trouble started after relatives entered into a brawl with some interns over the death of Ratna Chakraporty in the morning. Soon, outsiders gathered leading to a clash.

Journalists from print and electronic media were abused and attacked when they reached the hospital to cover the incident. The injured included relatives of the deceased patient, locals and medical students.

The condition of four of them, including photojournalist Ramakanta Dey, is reported to be very serious. They were admitted to a private hospital.

Though local residents, people accompanying patients and journalists blamed the doctors and medical students for the violence, the interns and hospital staff differed.

Health Director Satyaranjan Debbarma and senior police and government officials visited the spot.

The government has assured the people that despite the strike by junior doctors, services in the hospital are not affected.