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Agitating doctors intensify protests despite threats by government; receive support from Delhi doctors
Maharashtra government's decision to issue expulsion notices to 2,000 protesting doctors seems to have added fuel to the fire.

In Maharashtra, in the last fortnight, seven cases of assault on doctors have been registered.

The protesting junior doctors on Thursday have said that they will continue their strike for the fourth day. The strike has drastically affected patient services across government hospitals with OPD departments running with an inadequate staff.

The protesting doctors have also received support from the Indian Medical Association. About 4,500 junior doctors are protesting against the lack of safety for doctors working in government hospitals.

Doctors of various major government hospitals in Delhi have also expressed their support to the protesting doctors and have threatened to go on mass casual leave. In some hospitals, a few doctors could be seen wearing black helmets in a symbolic protest against assaults.

On Wednesday, Maharashtra medical and education minister Girish Mahajan had warned the agitating doctors to join duty by Wednesday evening or face strong action including a six-month salary cut.

"We have informed the Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) to ask their doctors to resume duty by 8 pm tonight (Wednesday), else get ready to face six months' salary cut," the minister had said. But with more attacks on doctors being reported, the announcement failed to persuade the protesting doctors.

Meanwhile, the case is likely to come up today before the Bombay High Court. On Tuesday, while hearing the case, the court had slammed the protesting doctors while granting the hospital management the permission to take action against them.

"You are not fit to be doctors. You are fit to be an ordinary factory worker if you insist that you will not resume work until your demands are fulfilled," the division bench of Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice Girish Kulkarni had observed.

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