| Protesters at VSS Medical College and Hospital. Telegraph picture |
Sambalpur, Sept. 5: Healthcare service at Veer Surendra Sai (VSS) Medical College and Hospital was affected today with students of the medical college closing the gates of its outdoor ward demanding proper security and action against a local Biju Janata Dal leader.
Tension erupted last night when a group of students of the medical college had an altercation with Sisir Dandia, president of the BJD’s local unit, and his friends.
Following the incident, the medical students gheraoed Burla police station and demanded immediate arrest of Dandia. They also locked the main gates of the hospital last night.
Police have arrested Sisir Dandia, president of the BJD’s Burla unit, in this connection. The students, however, continue to demand proper security arrangements on the VSS campus.
On July 13, students of VSS Medical College and Hospital had resorted to ceasework following a tussle with the same BJD leader, Sisir Dandia, and his supporters. At that time, too, the students had agitated demanding proper security on their campus. However, after assurance from the director of medical education and training department, they had called off their agitation.
Outdoor patients at the hospital, including patients from neighbouring Chhattisgarh had to suffer because of the tension on campus.
“I have come from Melchhamunda, which is 110 kilometres away from here. But I have to go back without meeting the doctor. Patients who have come here from faraway places are suffering because of the students’ agitation,” said Amruta Pradhan, 55, who had come here for a joint pain check-up. Hundreds of other patients also had to return without being able to consult doctors. Emergency services at the hospital, however, remained open.
“Junior doctors and house surgeons also supported the students’ agitation. We demand proper security on the campus. We will have a general body meeting regarding this in the evening,” said Premraj Debta, president of the Junior Doctors’ Association of VSS Medical College and Hospital.
Gunasagar Das, superintendent of the medical college and hospital, said: “We requested the students to allow doctors to work in the outdoor department. But the students refused to listen. They have also locked the gates of the outdoor ward.”
“We have informed both the district administration and higher authorities of the hospital. The students also have a meeting of their general body this evening. We could expect a solution after the general body meeting,” he added.
P.K. Mohapatra, deputy superintendent of police, Sambalpur, said: “We have arrested local BJD leader Sisir Dandia. He will be produced in court today. We are, however, yet to arrest other persons involved in this incident.”