GUWAHATI, Dec 12 � Scores of patients as well as their guardians in Kokrajhar are facing hardships due to the exodus of doctors who were serving in the district. In spite of efforts made by the administration, doctors have refused to return to their posts after NDFB militants asked them to pay hefty sums as protection money.
Today several citizens who spoke to The Assam Tribune revealed the difficulty faced by residents of Kokrajhar, who have experienced an acute shortage of doctors, including specialists. Manu Brahma of Kokrajhar town (name changed), said, �It's a difficult time for all of us. With doctors absent, patients are facing a tough time. Emergency patients are the worst sufferers, and those without money to travel to Bongaigaon or Guwahati are the hardest hit�.
Others in Kokrajhar agreed that it was a wrong decision on the part of the NDFB anti talk group, and emphasised that the group is likely to lose out on public sympathy in the days ahead.
The Kokrajhar Civil Hospital will be run by a skeletal presence, and doctors sent from Guwahati cannot compensate the number of doctors who have left. Not less than two dozen doctors and nurses have left the premises after they were served with extortion notes by the anti-talk NDFB.
Director of Health Services, Dhruba Hojai, told this newspaper that doctors from several disciplines, including medicine, gynaecology, and anaesthesiology have been deputed from Gauhati Medical College to serve in the Kokrajhar Civil Hospital under armed protection, and the next step will be determined after consultation with the State Health Minister very soon.
Residents of Kokrajhar town also informed that the situation is likely to worsen with the gradual shortage of private practitioners. A large number of them have been served with extortion notes, and some have already disappeared from their clinics.
Kokrajhar Correspondent adds: BPPF president Rabiram Narzary, today condemned extortion threats to doctors in Kokrajhar in a press meet held at BPPF office. He demanded a high-level inquiry into the recent extortion demands made to doctors that led to a deadlock in medical services in Kokrajhar.
�On one hand, the BTC chief Hagrama Mohilary has made the Ranjan Daimary faction of NDFB responsible for the extortion threats to doctors, while on the other both the NDFB factions have denied their involvement�. A proper inquiry can only reveal the truth for necessary action,� he said. He also appealed to the doctors to join duties and urged the administration to provide adequate security to them.
Narzary also pointed out that the incidents like extortion, kidnapping, killing are going on in the entire BTC area unabated, which can only be possible due to nexus of political leaders with the help of administration as a conspiracy for wrongful gain. At the same time, he cautioned that the time is ripe enough for the Bodo society to take a decisive role, otherwise becoming tolerant to such practices shall be fatal for this area.
Meanwhile, condemning the extortion threats Dr. K. Brahma, president BSS in a press meet at Kokrajhar today stated that the police and intelligence have totally failed to maintain adequate security in the area.He pointed out that some selfish sections are trying to estabilize the progress of talks between the Govt and the NDFB. He also appealed to the extremists to abstain from repeating such illegal acts that have been seriously tarnishing the image of the Bodo society.