Five patients died in Kanpur Saturday after doctors went on a strike protesting the late Friday arrest of three dozen doctors who clashed with a legislator's supporters. The lawmaker had been beaten up by the doctors, police said Saturday.
Doctors at five hospitals went on strike and work was crippled at the cancer, OPD and emergency wards.
Leaders of the striking doctors said they will not budge and refused to sign death certificates. They demanded the immediate release of their peers and accused police of planting illegal weapons in their hostels and victimizing the junior doctors.
The stand-off started after a patient's attendant approached Samajwadi Party legislator Irfan Solanki to ask doctors to treat the patient.
When the doctors did not heed the recommendation, the legislator sent in his gunner to talk to the doctors, but he too was not given an audience. Solanki then himself walked into the hospital and a heated exchange followed.
On being threatened, the doctors allegedly attacked the legislator and he sustained head injuries.
Doctors and mediapersons were then cane charged by police.
Over three dozen junior doctors were arrested in midnight raids at hostels after which the doctors went on a strike.
Doctors of a medical college in Agra have also joined the agitation and have threatened to go on strike. Doctors are also said to be in touch with their peers in different districts.
A probe has been ordered.