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Nearly 3,000 junior doctors from six medical colleges in Madhya Pradesh resigned on Thursday after the state's high court termed their four-day ongoing protest as 'illegal', and asked them to resume their work within 24 hours. After the court's observation, the protesting doctors said that they would continue their strike until their demands are not fulfilled by the government.
The doctors, who began their protest on Monday, May 31, want the government to fulfil a charter of demands, including an increase in stipend and free treatment to them and their families in case they contract COVID-19.
The Madhya Pradesh High Court, taking cognisance of the PIL filed in this regard, termed the strike as 'illegal'. Stating that the doctors should not resort to such means particularly when the country is facing the biggest health crisis, it directed them to resume their duties by Friday afternoon.
The bench consisting of Chief Justice Mohammad Rafiq Ahmed and Justice Sujoy Paul ordered that the doctors return to their work and warned that if the protestors do not comply, the state government must take action against them.
Dr Arvind Meena, the president of Madhya Pradesh Junior Doctors Association (MPJDA) said that the association will move the Supreme Court against the High Court's judgment. He further stated that the government had only been giving empty assurances.
"The government has promised to raise the stipend by 24 per cent and till they raise it to that limit, the strike will continue," he said, reported NDTV.
On the other hand, the state's medical education commissioner Nishant Warwade said that a 17 per cent increase in the stipend of the junior doctors had been approved and further increments would also be done depending upon the Consumer Price Index.
He also stated that Madhya Pradesh Medical Education Minister Vishvas Sarang had met the representatives of the doctors' association and taken positive steps to resolve the matter.
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