Darjeeling: After 27 doctors of North Bengal Medical College & Hospital (NBMCH), Darjeeling, resigned early today over the violence against doctors in the state, the crisis has deepened as the number of resignations has gone up to 119.

The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has called for an all-India strike on Monday as the Mamata Banerjee government turned a blind eye on the protesters’ demands.

IMA said that the non-essential services will not be provided while the casualty and emergency services will continue.

Earlier in the day, the Resident Doctors Association of AIIMS met Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan over the violence against doctors in West Bengal. 

Dr Harsh Vardhan appealed to the protesting doctors nationwide to call off their agitation or carry out only symbolic protests, “I’d like to assure all doctors that the government is committed towards their safety. I appeal to doctors to hold symbolic protests only and continue to carry out their duties.” He also requested Banerjee to not turn it into a prestige issue.

Filmmaker Aparna Sen met protesting doctors at Kolkata’s NRS College and Hospital, today, and said, “I’d like to request CM to come here and talk to the doctors. If you felt bad due to someone’s behaviour, please forgive them. Do you think it’ll be good for Bengal if they will leave our state?”

Calcutta High Court on Friday gave the state government seven days to respond to a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) on doctors’ strike. The court asked the state about the steps that have been taken to end the impasse and said that the state will have to put an end to this and find a solution.

Meanwhile, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has reiterated that outsiders are responsible for the protests. “We have to bring Bangla forward. When I go to Bihar, UP, Punjab, I speak in their language, if you are in Bengal you have to speak Bangla. I will not tolerate criminals who stay in Bengal and roam around on bikes,” she said.