Speaking to Republic TV all through Friday morning, doctors from across the country who have stood in solidarity with their peers in Kolkata who are protesting against the assault on one within their ranks by the family of a deceased patient have unanimously stated their demand for protection from and deterrence against such kind of assault. Nowhere is this more evident than in Kolkata itself, where the doctors at the protest's hotbed - the NRS Hospital - have hit back at West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee telling her that they were 'not outsiders, not CPI(M), not BJP - just doctors'.
Other doctors at the hospitals also joined in, opposing the West Bengal CM's claims:
The Trinamool Chief claimed that the protesting junior doctors were outsiders. She said that rival political parties and opposing factors had brought in outsiders to maintain the ongoing protests. She had also alleged a communal angle and named the BJP and Left as having had a role in the protest. The Doctor's union that is protesting at NRS Hospital in Kolkata, however, clearly said that they were not allowing any political party to hijack their movement, and that if the West Bengal CM had any doubts about them being 'outsiders', she should check their IDs.
Speaking to Republic TV, Nilanjan Dutta, a junior doctor at the agitation stated that the doctors expected an apology from Banerjee. He also slammed the Chief Minister's claims and said that the whole agitation has been completely carried out by the doctors and for the doctors. Nilanjan further stated that:
"We are not outsiders. If she thinks we are outsiders, why doesn't she come here and prove that. We have our ID proofs"
He further added:
"This is an apolitical movement by us. We are not backed by any political party. It's just us doctors protesting."
In addition, agitation has brewed in other states following the strike in Kolkata, with doctors across India standing with their peers in solidarity. In Mumbai, the protest was in full-scale as doctors questioned the move by Trinamool chief. They also said that the incident is a scar on the medical profession which would affect the coming generations:
"India is a country with shortage of doctors. What happened in Kolkata gives a rong image of this profession. The coming generations won't even consider becoming a doctor." said a protestor.
Speaking to Republic TV, a protesting doctor in Mumbai stated that the primary demand was security:
The Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) also called out a strike in the light of situation:
Other states too have been witnessing the agitation in several forms. In Telangana, the Nizam's Institute of Medical Sciences held a protest march following the events in Kolkata.
In Bengaluru as well, doctors were protesting when Republic spoke to them:
The same was true of Chandigarh: