Resident doctors had a faceoff with policemen at south Delhi’s Safdarjung Hospital this afternoon after they were stopped from marching to the Supreme Court. The issue of delayed admissions to medical colleges under the NEET postgraduate exam is being heard by the Supreme Court. Counselling for admissions is on hold.
The protesting doctors have said the delay in college allotments after the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test, or NEET, postgraduate exam was unacceptable. The resident doctors’ groups in Delhi have threatened a complete shutdown of medical services.
The police have shut all the main gates at Safdarjung Hospital, just next to All India Institute of Medical Sciences, or AIIMS, to prevent the protesting doctors from leaving.
The NEET was scheduled in December 2020 but was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The exam was finally held in September this year. But counselling for admissions for entry to medical colleges got delayed, which sparked the protest.
“We are protesting as a last resort. The government is not listening. What should we do?” a resident doctor in a large crowd of slogan-shouting protesters told NDTV.
The doctors have alleged Delhi Police personnel manhandled them during their protest last night. The police have, however, denied they used excess force. Dramatic visuals from last night showed policemen and doctors engaged in scuffles. Earlier in the day the protesters were stopped from marching to Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya’s home.
“The doctors had assembled illegally, due to which they had to be detained. They had blocked the main roads. Everyone was released later and no case against anyone was filed,” police officer PS Yadav told NDTV today. “We won’t let them go out of Safdarjung Hospital today. We will stop them right here on the campus,” Mr Yadav said.