Dental surgeons protest for jobs, several detained

Police forcefully lifting the dental surgeons from protesting site at Tawi bridge in Jammu. -Excelsior/Rakesh
Police forcefully lifting the dental surgeons from protesting site at Tawi bridge in Jammu. -Excelsior/Rakesh

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, Feb 14: Several unemployed dental surgeons were detained today after they staged a strong protest demonstration and tried to block main Tawi bridge in order to press the Government to create new posts of dental surgeons in hospitals across Jammu and Kashmir.
Hundreds of unemployed dental surgeons under the banner of Dental Surgeons Association of J&K assembled this morning at Dogra Chowk from where they moved towards vital Tawi bridge near the statue of Maharaja Hari Singh while raising slogans in support of their demands. As the protesting dental surgeons tried to block the Tawi bridge by staging sit-in, the police forcefully lifted them and detained several of them for a brief period.
Speaking to the media on the protest site, general secretary of the Association, Robin Tikoo said their employment woes have not been addressed since 2008 when the Government last officially advertised posts for dental surgeons in the Health Department. He said thousands of dental doctors are unemployed across the Union Territory and more than 500 of them have already crossed the age limit without facing the J&K Public Service Commission examination even once.
“We reject the financial assistance scheme announced by the Lt Governor administration for the dental doctors to set up their own clinics. We do not need the financial assistance offered by the Government but a proper job. For financial assistance, we can go to a bank,” said another protesting dental surgeon while adding that many of them are still repaying the education loan and it is not possible for them to set up a private clinic with another bank loan.
Another protesting dental surgeon said that they have given several representations to the authorities time and again but nothing has been done till date for their welfare. He appealed the Lt Governor to take note of their plight and address their issues without any further delay.
Meanwhile, a number of dental surgeons staged protest demonstration in Srinagar also. They expressed their resentment over negligent attitude adopted by the Government towards their demands, by shouting anti-Government slogans. The protesting youth said that they will continue to protest till their demand of creating new posts of dental surgeons is met.