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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Odisha gang-rape: Doctors protest action

From Bhubaneswar: Doctors in Odisha on Tuesday protested police action against three medics for allegedly not taking care of a gang-rape victim who died after more than six months of treatment at a hospital. The Odisha Medical Services Association, an organisation of over 4,000 doctors, said the crime branch of the state police has filed charge sheet against the doctors, alleging that they violated the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocity) Act. The woman was gang-raped on November 28, 2011, and died on June 21, 2012. “The doctors have not violated any act. Rather the victim was kept in the intensive care unit (ICU) of the Sriram Chandra Bhanj Medical College and Hospital (SCB Medical College) at Cuttack for several months for no reason,” Dr J B Biswal, member of the central working committee, told reporters. “She was kept unnecessarily under political pressure. It was all due to politics. It was a drama. There was no justification,” he said. The woman was allegedly gang-raped by some people near her village Arjunagoda in the Pipili police station area of Puri district, about 10 km from Bhubaneswar, on Nov 28 last year. The crime branch has filed charge sheet against several persons in the case, including against Dr D N Moharana, superintendent of SCB Medical College, Cuttack, and Dr Milan Mitra and Dr K C Sahu of a government hospital in Bhubaneswar. The doctors have been accused of denying the woman proper treatment. The crime branch filed its first charge sheet against four people arrested in the case in March, but said that there was no evidence of rape. However, according to the woman’s family, she was gang-raped by a group of men who had earlier assaulted her in 2008 and against whom she had filed a molestation case. The incident came to light when the woman was denied proper treatment at hospitals. The case had also created a political storm, prompting Odisha agriculture minister Pradeep Maharathy to resign on January 19 on moral grounds after the opposition and the girl’s family alleged that he was protecting the attackers. The incident is being investigated by the crime branch and a one-man judicial commission headed by a retired judge of the Orissa High Court. After the woman died on June 21, activists of women’s organisations and opposition parties have renewed their protests and demonstrations and demanded a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). [Source: IANS]

PMCH junior doctors end 14-day strike in Bihar

From Patna: Junior doctors of Bihar’s premier medical institution — Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH) — ended their 14-day long strike on Wednesday after the state government assured them it would look into their grievances. Medicos of two other colleges will also call off their agitation. According to reports, the strike led to the death of over a dozen patients, including children affected by the Acute Encephalitis Syndrome, but the government has not confirmed it. Hundreds of junior doctors of PMCH were on strike after relatives of some patients manhandled their colleagues on duty. The incident led to doctors going on strike and also putting up demands like introduction of junior residency scheme and proper management of hospitals. The state government last Monday raised the stipend of the junior doctors from Rs 25,000 to Rs 30,000, and this led to the medicos calling off their strike, officials of the health department said. The junior doctors of Nalanda Medical College and Hospital (NMCH) in Patna and Darbhanga Medical College and Hospital who were also on strike in support of their PMCH colleagues are now likely to end their strike soon. [Source: IANS]