Odishatv Bureau

Sambalpur: To end the stalemate that has cropped up in Veer Surendra Sai Institute of Medical Science and Research (VIMSAR), the State government today instructed 116 newly appointed doctors to join duty at the earliest to address the health care problems arising out of students' unrest for the last couple of days.

Till the last reports came in, as many as 38 doctors had already joined duty. “I have ordered them to join duty as soon as possible in their respective department. The concerned HODs will distribute them work accordingly. The government has appointed doctors to various departments,” VIMSAR principal Braja Mohan Mishra said.

On the other hand, students’ agitation on the campus is getting murkier by the day as Odisha Medical Services Association (OMSA) lent support to the students who have been on a dharna demanding transfer of the director and safety of girls on the campus.

"Our demands have remained unchanged. We will not withdraw the stir till our demands are met,” a student said.

OMSA president Nirakar Bhatt urged the Health Minister to resolve the issue after meeting the students.

Members of civil society in Sambalpur intensified the stir demanding strict action against erring students for hampering health service.  Sambalpur Citizen Forum staged a dharna at Nelson Mandela square in the town and submitted a memorandum to SP Sanjeev Arora demanding immediate arrest of the violence perpetrators.

Justifying the action of VIMSAR director Aswini Pujahari, they condemned the activities of doctors and decided to launch a mass movement against them. People’s stir also spread to Jharsuguda and Bargarh district also.

“Nobody can harm the director. The agitation will be intensified in entire western Odisha if he is transferred,” said Prafulla Hota, member of western Odisha citizens' action committee.

Later in the day Health Minister Pratap Jena held discussion with students’ representatives and asked them to put their strike on hold before any further discussion. “I also urged them to restore normalcy in the greater interest of the patients,” Jena said.