Doctors go on strike; health services paralysed in Uttar Pradesh
Chief Medical Officer (Family Welfare) of Uttar Pradesh, V.P. Singh was shot dead by unidentified assailants in the posh Gomti Nagar area here on Saturday. The killers said to be riding a mobike struck when the deceased was taking his morning walk. Dr. Singh's body was riddled with bullets, the police said.
This is the second murder of its kind involving a high-ranking medical officer of the same department to have rocked the State capital in the last six months.
Special teams have been constituted to track down the culprits, DIG (Lucknow) D.K. Thakur said.
Incensed at the cold-blooded killing of their colleague, the doctors associated with the Provincial Medical Service (PMS) of the State Government went on a flash strike. Heath services including those of out-patient department (OPD) and emergency in government hospitals remained paralysed through out the State. In Lucknow, the doctors sat on dharna on the busy Sitapur road demanding action against the culprits. Dr. Singh was the general secretary of the PMS.
The PMS Association has demanded a CBI inquiry into the incident. Dr. Singh's killing was similar to the murder of another senior medico of the PMS cadre Vinod Kumar Arya, who was shot dead near his residence in Vikas Nagar here on October 27, 2010. As CMO of Family Welfare Department, Dr. Arya was Dr. Singh's predecessor and was also killed by two motorcycle-borne assailants while on his morning walk. The killers are still at large.
Following Dr. Arya's murder, the post of CMO (Family Welfare ) had been lying vacant for about four months. Dr. Singh was appointed to the post in February this year. While the police are yet to ascertain the cause of the crime, the deceased was said to have been engaged in removing some anomalies in the budgetary allocation for family welfare schemes and may have incurred the wrath of vested interests, sources claimed.
Condemning the killing of the senior medical officer, the Samajwadi Party, Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress attacked Chief Minister Mayawati for her failure to control the law and order situation.
Samajwadi Party state unit president Akhilesh Yadav said in a press release that the murder has again underlined the free hand given to criminals and mafia by the present regime. Mr. Yadav said corruption and commission were rampant in the implementation of government schemes and the officers were forced to work under pressure.
State BJP chief Surya Pratap Shahi who visited the deceased's residence to offer condolences to the bereaved family said there is jungle raj in Uttar Pradesh and if a CMO can be killed in broad daylight the plight of the common man can be well understood.
UP Congress chief Rita Bahuguna Joshi has demanded Ms. Mayawati's resignation on moral grounds and a CBI probe in the incident.