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Doctors Strike Paralysed Health Services in Bihar

Health services have been paralysed in a Bihar district as hundreds of doctors went on a strike to protest the failure of the police in rescuing two abducted school students who are close relatives of a medical practitioner.

Doctors in Begusarai district, about 125 km from the state capital, went on a two-day strike Thursday to protest the failure of the police in rescuing Saurav, 12 and Gaurav, 12. Both the boys are student of DAV school at Barauni Refinery in the district.

They were abducted on May 16 when they went out with a neighbour Milan, 15. "I filed a police complaint about their abduction six days after they went missing because for a few days we thought they might have wandered off somewhere nearby," said Dinesh Prasad Singh, uncle of the abducted boys.

Singh, a medical practitioner, urged the local unit of the Indian Medical Association to call for a strike to put pressure on the administration to rescue the boys. The local unit of the Chamber of Commerce has also called for a complete shut down in Begusarai on Friday.

More than 900 people have been abducted across the state in the first quarter of 2007. M.P. Gupta, a senior lawyer of the Patna High Court, quoted a court report that said 903 cases of kidnappings took place in Bihar between Jan 1 and March 31.

There were 333 abductions in January, 361 in February and 209 in March. Officials said over 2,000 kidnappings occurred last year.

Lawyers, doctors, contractors, businessmen and school students have been the prime targets of abductors for ransom.

Earlier this year, the Patna High Court had directed the state government to trace 144 children and 581 women who had been missing since 2001.


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