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Doctors on murder strike

Patna, Nov. 13: The Bihar unit of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) has called an indefinite strike at all government and private hospitals and clinics in the state to protest against yesterday's killing of a doctor and his assistant.

The decision, taken at an emergency meeting of the IMA this evening, threatens to paralyse the state's medical system.

'We have decided to close down all medical services in the state from this moment until the culprits are caught and the government ensures our protection,' an IMA source said after the meeting.

Four persons walked into Mehta Clinic at Rajendra Nagar in Patna last evening with a fake patient and shot physician Naval Kishore Agrawal and his assistant Arvind Kumar, apparently because the doctor refused to pay extortion money.

Five persons, including the wife of suspect Bindu Singh ' a notorious extortionist and murderer lodged in Bhagalpur jail ' have been taken into custody.

'We are interrogating them thoroughly. The mobile seized from Singh's wife has given us some vital clues,' senior superintendent of police N.H. Khan said.

Doctors today spewed venom at the state government. 'For a long time now, many of us have been living and practising under the threat of extortion, kidnap and killing. Nobody is safe here today. We want the government to finish off the criminals so that we can serve without fear,' IMA president Dr Vijay Shankar said. The association also decided to meet the governor and request his intervention.

State health minister Shakil Ahmad has reportedly pleaded with the IMA not to go ahead with the strike and give some time to police.

The administration, too, held a meeting with the police and government officials to chalk out specific plans to counter crime in the state.

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