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Agartala | April 12, 2019

Tripura health minister Sudip Roy Barman on Friday gave up his security citing increased cases of violence against doctors in state hospitals.

“I request you to ensure all the criminals behind such inhumane and barbaric acts for the last one year are taken to ask and also ensure than criminals released on bail in regards to Dr Dipankar Debnath case is challenged before an appropriate forum,” he wrote in a letter to chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb.

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In line with this, doctors and staff at government hospitals in Tripura on Friday threatened to resign en-masse demanding action against people who thrashed a surgeon at the Indira Gandhi Memorial (IGM) Hospital here.

Police said that some people roughed up Dr Dipankar Debnath till he became unconscious on Thursday, after a pregnant woman died at the hospital. Five people were arrested in connection with the incident, but they got bail from a lower court.

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Debnath is now under treatment at the Govind Ballabh Pant Medical College and Hospital, where his condition is said to be “out of danger”.

Protesting against the incident, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) and the All Tripura Government Doctors’ Association (ATGDA), the two main bodies of doctors in the state, said that at least 10 such incidents of manhandling of doctors at different state hospitals have occurred over the past one year.

The IMA-Tripura chapter and the ATGDA have jointly demanded trials of the accused in these case in fast-track courts and setting up of permanent police pickets in government hospitals.

ATGDA spokesman Kaushik Chakraborty said that no doctor, nurse or health staff would participate in any voluntary programme including blood donation and health camps from now on.

“We would do only routine work in hospitals and wait for a week to see the government action. If we are not satisfied with it, all the doctors, nurses and health workers would resign en-masse,” Chakraborty told the media.

Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb promised stern action against the accused persons and appealed to the doctors to not inconvenience the public.

“A lower court has granted them interim bail. I have asked the Director General of Police and Advocate General to file a petition in the higher court to make sure that the bail is rejected. Our government would not tolerate any such attacks. Strict action will be taken,” he said.

The Chief Minister also assured that police posts would be set up in front of Govind Ballabh Pant Medical College and Hospital and IGM Hospital to prevent similar incidents in the future.

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