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Unemployed Kashmir docs attempt self-immolation

Srinagar, July 02, 2007:

Kashmir Electropath Doctors
We need jobs. Is anyone listening? / Javed Dar
Sajad, Mustafa and Rashid could endure no more.

The three Electropathy doctors in Indian administered Kashmir who had been agitating with 300 other doctors for more than two months today ran out of patience.

‘Enough is enough’, they said and decided to do something, which could attract attention of people if not the government that has chosen to ignore them since they sat on protests near the press enclave in the summer capital Srinagar.

The three on Monday climbed a telecom tower and threatened self-immolation, officials said.

The city today gripped in panic after the three carrying petrol, climbed the tower at Abi Guzar area in the morning, while a large number of people gathered at the spot appealing them not to take any extreme step.

While the three attracted attention of people, their colleagues on ground self-immolation by trying to set themselves on fire. However, they were stopped by police.

No one from the administration was present on the occasion while the police had come to stop the protesting doctors bringing along tear smoke shells. No means of rescue, like fire ladder, or rescue nets -to rescue the doctors who had climed the tower- were seen on the spot.

The protesting doctors are demanding inclusion in government services, while the state government does not recognise electropathy system of medicines.

Some separatists and mainstream politicians have expressed concern over the issue but no one from the government even paid a visit during the past two months.

The hardline All Parties Hurriyat Conference chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani and chairman of Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party chairman paid a visit to the protesting electropathy doctors.

Singh also urged the chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad to take urgent action to provide jobs to the trained doctors and engineers.

Singh expressed shock over the way the government has been treating these professionals after the agitated doctors presented a memorandum to him.

However, according to reports, Azad has expressed his helplessness over the issue.

Last month, the doctors carried out a protest march on the streets wearing shrouds. Earlier, they also protested by polishing the shoes of the passers by to mock at the government.

These doctors also protested by selling used second hand clothes besides writing a letter in blood to the chief minister Azad, who choose not to reply.



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