By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, Feb 28: Homeopathic doctors and students in their professiol aprons and with tonsured heads, who had been seen wearing a different hat for the past three days in support of their demands, were baton-charged by the police, injuring many of them. Around 150 doctors and students were arrested by the police, but not before a live street scuffle.
The demonstrating doctors and students took to the street at Dispur Last Gate on Wednesday and had their heads tonsured on Wednesday. The police soon resisted them, leading to a scuffle. Higher-ups from the district administration rushed to the spot and asked the agitating doctors and students to vacate the spot within a specified time. When the agitators refused to obey the orders the police resorted to baton charge, and left a number of them injured. The police also arrested some 150 doctors and students and took them to Bashistha Police Station.
Since February 26, 2018 homeopathic doctors and students of the State had been on sit-in demonstration in protest against, what they said, the State administration giving them a cold shoulder on their demands. Around 300 members of the All Assam Homoeopathic Medical College Students’ Union, in collaboration with the All Assam Homoeopathic Doctors’ Association, the tiol Homeopathic Medical Association and the All Assam Homeopathic Junior Doctors’ Association took part in the agitation.
According to the agitators, only 77 medical officers (Homoeo) were appointed under the Assam Public Service Commission, and of them 15 are lying vacant after retirement of some of them. The State Government neither created any new posts, nor filled the vacancies, they said.
There are only 232 Homoeopathic MOs under NHM, Assam whose salary is far less than that of their Ayurvedic counterparts. Despite the Gauhati High Court’s order to maintain pay parity between MO (Homoeo) and MO (Ayur) the government has not been showing any seriousness to make that happen. Woebegone is not enough to depict the negligence meted out to homeopathic doctors in the State.
“We undergo the same duration of compulsory internship with similar ture of duty and working hours as that of MBBS interns in the departments of medical colleges, but our stipend is much less than that of the MBBS and BAMS interns. Why is this injustice?” Questioned Dr. Anisur Rahman.