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Intellectuals may not know all aspects of doctors' strike: Mamata Banerjee

Actors Koushik Sen and Aparna Sen, along with a group of social activists, had visited NRS hospital on Friday

By Mita Mukherjee in Calcutta
  • Published 16.06.19, 6:20 AM
  • Updated 16.06.19, 7:33 AM
  • 2 mins read
Actors Aparna Sen and Koushik Sen address protesting junior doctors at NRS hospital on Friday Telegraph picture

Chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday said “intellectuals” had every right to go to NRS hospital but they might not know all the aspects of the ceasework by junior doctors.

Intellectuals rao okhane gechhen. Eta onader prerogative. Ar eta hotei pare. Kintu onara hoyto na jene bujhei gechen (Intellectuals had gone there. It is their prerogative. And this can always happen. But they may have gone there without knowing everything),” Mamata told a news conference after the protesting doctors turned down the government’s invitation for a meeting at Nabanna.

But at least one of the “intellectuals” she referred to told Metro on Saturday evening that they were “fully aware” of all the aspects of the protest.

“She (chief minister) doesn’t know that we knew everything before we visited NRS. We certainly talked to doctors about the incident and inquired about their problems,” actor Koushik Sen said.

“At the same time we had also pleaded with them to get back to work so that poor patients do not suffer,” he said.

On Friday, Sen and actress Aparna Sen, along with a group of social activists, had visited NRS hospital, where two doctors were injured in an attack following a patient’s death on Monday night.

They had addressed the protesting junior doctors.

Koushik Sen said the crisis could be solved if the chief minister had visited NRS. In spite of so much anger among the junior doctors they still have faith in her, he said.

While addressing the conference on Saturday, Mamata spelt out the steps the government had taken since Monday to resolve the stalemate.

“I don’t think the chief minister needs to explain so much about what the government has done. Her guidance to the junior doctors is only necessary. In spite of so much anger among the junior doctors, I think they still have faith in the chief minister. The crisis can be solved immediately if she once talks to them,” he said.

“I think five or six representatives from the junior doctors should meet the chief minister and request her to visit NRS and talk to agitating doctors. But it is high time that they get back to work. Poor patients are being affected.”

Calls and messages on WhatsApp to Aparna Sen went unanswered.

At NRS on Friday, she, too, had said that the ceasework could end if the chief minister visited the hospital and heard them out.

Ekhane eshe oder sange katha bolte asubidha kothay (What is the difficulty in coming here and talking to them)?” she had said.

The chief minister on Saturday said it should be “an honour to be invited to Nabanna, the state secretariat”.

“This is the seat of the government. The government is inviting you to talks; you are saying you won’t come. At times you have to accord respect to constitutional bodies as well,” she said.

“When I am trying to talk, you are saying no. You will decide where the government will sit — the government secretariat is the best possible place... don’t you think?”