The doctors of Silchar Medical College & Hospital (SMCH) staged protest on Tuesday against the lynching of physician Dr Deben Dutta in Teok Tea Estate.

The 73-year-old physician, who was assaulted by the labourers of Teok Tea Estate in Jorhat district, succumbed to his injuries on Saturday.

Also read: Tea garden workers beat senior doctor to death in Assam’s Jorhat

The essential services and academic sessions in the SMCH were affected due to the protest.

The services in OPD and mini OTs were hit as the junior doctors along with medical students and other doctors of the hospital staged a sit-in protest in front of the entrance gates to the OPD.

However, the emergency services were not affected.

Also read: Post-lynching of doctor, lockout declared in Assam tea garden; 22 detained

While chanting slogans like “We need security” and “Hum Hamara Hak Mangte, Nahi Kisi Se Bheek Mangte”, the agitating doctors demanded security of their profession as well as the hospital premises.

Protest at SMCH
Doctors of SMCH observe one-minute silence in memory of Dr Deben Dutta. Image credit – Northeast Now
Doctors of SMCH observe one-minute silence in memory of Dr Deben Dutta. Image credit – Northeast Now

The protestors said they don’t want to witness any of their colleagues die pathetically just like Dr Deben Dutta at Teok.

One minute’s silence was also observed paying solidarity to the departed soul of Dr Deben Dutta.

Later, a rally was taken out within the SMCH campus by the junior doctors and students demanding their security.

Dr Tinku Borah, president of Post Graduate Trainee Association (PGTA), who hails from Jorhat, told Northeast Now, “We don’t have any intention to stop medical services and protest as our role is to serve the mankind, which we are doing.”

Also read: Assam: Five more picked up for lynching physician Deben Dutta

“We don’t want any favours or help, but, we can definitely ask for our security,” said Dr Borah.

“But killing a doctor like Dr Deben Dutta, whom I knew personally, is more painful,” he added.

“He retired 13 years back and was serving the garden without any salary. It is hard to believe how one can kill such a person,” said Borah.

Saying that their security is tantamount to the service that they are providing, Bora said, “The zeal to become a doctor and take active part in this profession has weaned.”

Dr. Pinaki Chakravarty, president of SMCH Teachers’ Association, told Northeast Now, “We condemn such an act and demand immediate arrest and punishment to the guilty tea garden workers.”

“Not only that, the civil society should come forward and speak for our security and give us a secure environment to work for the betterment of the communities,” said Dr. Chakravarty.

Speaking in the same line, the general secretary of SMCH Teachers’ Association, Dr Prasenjit Ghosh said, “We work in very trying conditions and very remote areas. Our security and the security of our establishment have become very essential these days.”

Silchar Medical
SMCH doctors, students protesting outside the OPD in Silchar on Tuesday. Image credit – Northeast Now
SMCH doctors, students protesting outside the OPD in Silchar on Tuesday. Image credit – Northeast Now

“For the gruesome death of Dr Deben Dutta, we stopped the essential services today, but, if things don’t pan out in our favour, we have to stop even emergency services in the days ahead,” Dr Ghosh said.

SMCH principal Babul Bezbaruah also vehemently condemned the killing of Dr Deben Dutta and demanded that strict action be taken by the State government.

When asked about the security issues inside the hospital, SMCH principal Dr Babul Bezbaruah told Northeast Now, “Our associations have approached the State governments as well the Centre to provide medical task force for security of our doctors as well as our establishments.”

Dr Bezbaruah also said, “We are just like chengfish, which is very easy to catch and become soft targets of any casualty.”

“I must thank the doctors that we never re-attack, but, if the government seriously does not think about having such forces, such sort of brutal incidents would keep happening time and again,” Dr Bezbaruah added.

Aniruddha Laskar

Aniruddha Laskar is the Chief of Bureau, South Assam &and Mizoram. He can be reached at - anilaskar@gmail.com

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