Three Solapur cops surrender, docs call off strike after HC order

MumbaiDoctors address a press conference in Mumbai Thursday. Pradeep kochrekar

Resident doctors called off their statewide indefinite strike at 8 pm Friday following a High Court order to book all three policemen accused of beating a resident doctor in Solapur under the Maharashtra Medicare Service Persons and Medicare Service Institutions (Prevention of Violence and Damage or Loss to Property) Act, 2010.

"The High Court also directed us to withdraw our strike in public interest. We got what we wanted and so a decision to resume work was taken," Dr Santosh Wakchaure, president of Medical Association of Resident Doctors (MARD), said.

Around 4,000 resident doctors across the state had been on an indefinite strike since Thursday after Dr Prashant Patil, a junior doctor working in VM Medical College at Solapur, was allegedly beaten up by the three policemen on December 31.

"Patil was beaten because he could not help a pregnant woman as he was assisting another injured patient who needed a CT scan. Severe punishment should be given to these policemen," Wakchaure said.

After the doctors began their strike on Thursday, the HC had taken a suo motu cognizance. Chief Justice Mohit Shah heard the matter on Friday and directed the state's Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to take action against the three policemen, identified as police inspector Arun Waikar, sub-inspector Nitin Chowgule and constable Krishnath Surwase, and urged the doctors to withdraw the strike.

The Chief Justice also watched the CCTV grab showing the three policemen assaulting Patil. "The police authorities are not in a position to explain why they did not arrest Patil and take the CCTV footage in the morning of December 31," he remarked and adjourned the hearing till 3 pm after directing the DCP (Crime) at Solapur to take immediate action.

When the court met again at 3 pm, the state government informed the court that the policemen had surrendered before the magistrate's court at Solapur, which had granted them interim bail and fixed January 17 as date for the next hearing.

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