Doctors protesting in West Bengal are likely to continue their strike for the sixth day after junior doctors asserted they wouldn't resume work in a late-night meeting Saturday.
This comes after CM Mamata Banerjee appealed to them to resume work; she also said that despite having the power to force them to return to their duties, her government wouldn't do so.
Junior doctors in West Bengal have been protesting since June 11 and over 300 doctors have so far resigned from government-run hospitals. The strike was triggered after the family of a patient who died at Kolkata's NRS Hospital, assaulted two junior doctors on June 10.
"We are eagerly waiting to start our duty, but from the Chief Minister's side there is no such honest initiative to find a solution (of ongoing problem)," said a spokesperson of the joint forum of junior doctors
The doctors refused an invite for a meeting with Mamata at the State Secretariat and instead asked her to hold talks at NRS Medical College and Hospital.
Meanwhile, the Center has sought a report from the state over the matter. Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan has reportedly written to all Chief Ministers and called for strict action against those who assault doctors. The WB doctors' agitation has spread to other states too.
CM Mamata held a press conference after the doctors refused her invite. She once again requested them to resume work, assuring the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) wouldn't be invoked.
"We have the laws, but we do not want to use them... We are not going to take any stringent action against any of the agitating junior doctors and hamper their career," she said.
Medical services in WB would remain paralyzed as the doctors' strike is set to continue for the sixth day. Protesting doctors set six conditions to end their strike, including action against those who attacked their colleagues and Mamata's unconditional apology for remarks against the protest.
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