- Junior doctors defied Mamata Banerjee's 2 pm deadline to get back to work
- The strike started after a doctor was assaulted at a Kolkata hospital
- Ms Banerjee has accused the BJP, CPM of engineering the strike
Here are the top 10 updates on this big story:
The doctors told the media that they wanted armed police personnel at hospital premises, and wanted to know what action was taken in the case of the assault on a doctor at the NRS Hospital. The representatives of the junior doctors also said they felt the Chief Minister's address at the SSKM hospital sounded like a threat.
The junior doctors' strike, on since Monday, has hit services in the state's government-run hospitals. Over the last three days, services have been affected in emergency wards, outdoor facilities and pathological units of many state-run hospitals and a number of private medical facilities.
Mamata Banerjee has claimed that the security that was in place at hospitals were removed ahead of the elections as a fallout of the shake-up by the Election Commission ahead of the national elections. But the government, she said, had already made arrangements to put it back in place.
During a visit to the state-run SSKM hospital, she also warned doctors who won't return to work. Doctors who don't return to work must leave the hostel, she said. "They are outsiders. The government will not support them in any way," she said. "I condemn doctors who have gone on strike. Policemen die in line of duty but the police don't go on a strike," she added.
Ms Banerjee has written to the senior doctors of the government-run hospitals, asking them to take care of the patients. "The poor people are coming from all districts. I will be obliged and honoured if you please take full care of the hospitals," her letter read.
A full-blown political war has started over the assault on the doctor and the subsequent strike. Senior BJP leader Mukul Roy has alleged that members of a particular community, who belong to Trinamool, carried out the attack on doctors. "Mamata Banerjee is not arresting the anti-social elements because they are her voters," said Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh. The party has demanded her resignation.
CPM central committee member Sujan Chakraborty said Mamata Banerjee does not seem interested in ending the impasse. "Is she is concerned about solving the problem, or just wants to politicise the matter? The way she was threatening the doctors, it seems she is not at all interested in ending the impasse," he said.
"The BJP, with help from the CPM, is indulging in Hindu-Muslim politics. I am shocked to see their love affair," Ms Banerjee hit back. "BJP chief Amit Shah is encouraging his party cadre to create communal tension and run propaganda on Facebook," she said.
The junior doctors launched a protest after an intern at Kolkata's NRS Medical College and Hospital was assaulted on Monday night, allegedly by the relatives of a patient who had died. The doctor had a head injury and is in critical care at a private hospital.
The resident doctors at Delhi's AIIMS have decided to boycott work on Friday in solidarity with doctors in Bengal. The Delhi Medical Association has also called for a strike on June 14, asking that all OPD services, including family physicians, specialists, superspecialists, nursing homes, corporate hospitals, be shut as a mark of protest.