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Doctors association says Maharashtra's doctors to call off strike

Earlier on Thursday, the association had asserted that the doctors on strike were ready to join back work after the High Court assured to provide armed police personnel for their security. (Image source: Wikimedia Commons) Photograph: (Others)

WION Mumbai, Maharashtra, India Mar 24, 2017, 01.07 AM (IST)

Even as the Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) filed an affidavit in the Bombay High Court, dissociating itself from the doctors' strike in the state, it assured the court that the agitating doctors would resume work by 8 pm tomorrow.

MARD also told the court that it would not object if action was taken against the agitating doctors. After assuring them that it would provide them with armed police personnel for their security, the high court had directed doctors to resume work on Thursday. However, MARD said doctors would continue with their strike, claiming that they had not received a certified copy of the Bombay High Court order.

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Earlier in the day, the high court reprimanded the doctors association for not complying with its orders to resume work. The high court directed MARD to file an affidavit by 3 pm that they would not object if the government took action against the striking doctors. It warned MARD that if they did not file the affidavit within the stipulated time, the court will initiate contempt proceedings against the MARD President and secretary.

The court also warned the doctors on strike with punitive action by government and the Mumbai civic body if  they did not resume work by tomorrow.

At least 38 patients died in Mumbai's Sion Hospital yesterday, the lawyer representing the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) informed the high court during the hearing.

After the high court assured doctors it would provide them with armed police personnel for their security on Thursday, the association had asserted that the striking doctors were ready to join back work.

"The court has requested doctors to join back services and simultaneously, directed the state government to allow only one attendant of the patient and appoint armed police personnel at the main gate of the respective wards of the hospital," Rahul Rotala, the lawyer representing the MARD had told ANI.

"Doctors are ready to join their duties once the state government implements the court's undertakings for their security," he added.

The Bombay High Court, yesterday, ordered the doctors on strike to resume their duties and give some time to the government for providing them proper security.

The high court also ordered the state government to provide security at all government hospitals so that the doctors could work without fear.

It ordered that no punitive action should be taken against the protesting doctors once they resumed their duties. 

Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said earlier in the day that doctors will not be forgiven if the people have to suffer since all their demands were being met by the government.

He requested the resident doctors to withdraw their strike immediately and ensured them security.

The strike by Maharashtra's doctors, who are protesting a spate of assaults on colleagues by patients' relatives, entered the fourth day on Thursday even as nearly 2,000 of them got expulsion notice a day ago.

The agitators said patients were usually accompanied by a large number of relatives, which put pressure on them. 

They have demanded adequate security measures and a pass system, where not more than two relatives would be allowed to remain with a patient inside the ward. Thousands of patients have suffered because of the strike.

(WION with inputs from agencies) 

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