The Centre on Saturday sought separate reports from the West Bengal government on the ongoing doctors' strike and on political violence in the state, which has claimed 160 lives in the past four years, officials said.
In an advisory, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) told the West Bengal government that the continued trend of political violence from 2016 through 2019 is an indicative of the "failure" on the part of the law-enforcement machinery of the state in maintaining the rule of law and inspire a sense of security among the people.
The government of India is seriously concerned over the prevalent situation in West Bengal, it said.
The "unabated violence over the years is evidently a matter of deep concern", the Centre said, pointing out the growing number of incidents of election-related and political violence and casualties during 2016-2019.
The MHA said that according to reports it received, the number of incidents of political violence in West Bengal increased from 509 in 2016 to 1,035 in 2018.
As many as 773 incidents have already occurred in 2019 till date. Correspondingly, the death toll rose from 36 in 2016 to 96 in 2018 while 26 deaths have already taken place in 2019 till date, according to the MHA.
"It is requested that a report may be sent to this Ministry on the steps taken by the state government and its law enforcement machinery to investigate the incidents of violence to bring the culprits to book as also the measures taken to contain and curb violence," the MHA's advisory to the Trinamool Congress government said.
The Ministry of Home Affairs issued an advisory to West Bengal state government on Saturday about the ongoing strike by doctors where it has sought a report from the West Bengal government on an ongoing strike by the doctors. It has expressed urgency in seeking the report.
In another advisory to the West Bengal government, the MHA sought a report urgently on the ongoing strike by the doctors.
"The advisory issued by the MHA has stated that “this Ministry is in receipt of a number of representations from doctors, health care professionals and medical associations from different parts of country for their safety and security in view of the ongoing strike by doctors in West Bengal. It is requested that a detailed report be sent urgently on the representations and ongoing strike by the doctors.”
Earlier on Saturday, Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan wrote to all chief ministers of states calling for strict action against any person who assaults doctors. “State governments that do not have specific legislation to protect doctors and health professionals to consider enacting one immediately," the letter stated. Representatives from the Indian Medical Association (IMA) and Delhi Medical Association (DMA) had called him.
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The latest development in the strike, resident doctors at AIIMS, New Delhi issued an ultimatum to the Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal saying that they would launch an indefinite strike if the Mamata-Banerjee led government failed to meet their demands within 48 hours.
The protests which erupted after a junior doctor was assaulted by a family of a patient after he died gained national momentum with doctors from across India including from private hospitals joining the stir.
Over 300 professionals from medical colleges and hospital from West Bengal tendered their resignations after the matter escalated. CM and Health Minister of the state Mamata Banerjee had earlier given a warning to the doctors to stop the stir or else vacate their hostels, but the agitating doctors continued their protest She later appealed in a letterto them to stop their strike for the well being of the patients.