News headlines

Docs call off strike

Mumbai: The doctors' strike that crippled Mumbai and the rest of Maharashtra ended on its 13th day, early Saturday morning.

The decision to call off the protest came at 1 am, at the end of a 11-hour meeting that began at 2 pm on Friday.

The Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD), which had organized the protest, said doctors would get back to work at 8 am on Saturday.

Explosives found at Byculla train station defused at Girgaon


A crude bomb was found at Byculla railway station on Saturday and was defused at the nearby Girgaon Chowpatty beach.

The Anti-terrorist Squad (ATS) Senior Inspector A Deshmukh said they received an anonymous call around 10 am saying that an unclaimed bag was lying inside the gent’s toilet at platform number one for the past few hours.

The bomb detection and disposal squad rushed to the station and removed it immediately to Girgaum Chowpatty where it was defused through a controlled explosion, police said.

After it was defused, samples were collected and sent to forensic laboratory for examination, he said.

The explosive device found at Byculla railway station today was an Improvised Explosive Device (IED), which contained two kg Ammonium Nitrate in a water bottle, Mumbai Police Commissioner A N Roy said.

The device was similar to the one used in Varanasi blasts, Roy told reporters, adding that in the temple town ammonium nitrate was used along with RDX.

The device found in the upper rack of gent’s toilet at Byculla was ‘not complete in itself' to cause an explosion in case of human contact, Roy said.

Police in the entire metropolitan city, particularly at places of worship and vital installations were put on high alert following the recent twin blasts at Varanasi.

Security in and around railway stations, bus depots and airports were further tightened following recovery of the bomb today, police said.

Apart from the explosive filled in a polypack water bottle, police also recovered a pocket-size transformer, that could have provided necessary current if a detonator was to be attached to the explosive device, Police Commissioner A N Roy said told reporters here today.

The recovery comes in the backdrop of twin bomb blasts in the temple town Varanasi on Tuesday. Police is taking the seizure seriously since it has occurred a day before the 13th anniversary of Mumbai serial bomb blasts which claimed 256 lives and caused immense property damage.

Mumbai, which has witnessed several terrorist attacks since 1993, has fortunately not seen any major terrorist act in the past two years, although police foiled two such attempts in the past two months.
They will work overtime to make up the backlog. No action will be taken against the organisation.

The state government promised to put together a four-man committee (including MARD members) to look into the issue of security for doctors, and also said it would check the feasibility of reducing working hours.

The government also met the doctors halfway on their demand for a pay hike, agreeing to increase their stipend to Rs 12,500 a month. The doctors had originally demanded Rs 13,500.

The meeting included Minister of State for Higher Education Dilip Walse-Patil, Heath Secretary A Khan and 13 doctors, representing the state’s medical colleges. 


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