Government doctors in Tripura are now embroiled with the State over a dispute involving the suspension of a senior colleague at a COVID-19 care centre. Dr Uttam Bhattacharjee, Assistant Professor of the Department of Ophthalmology of Agartala Government Medical College (AGMC), posted at the Bhagat Singh Covid care centre was suspended on Wednesday in Agartala. 

The decision to suspend Dr Bhattacharjee was taken as a "disciplinary action". Such a move has been resorted to as a "follow up action" after Tripura's BJP MLA and former health minister Sudip Roy Burman was seen entering the COVID care centre in Agartala over a video alleging poor facilities. The incident has occured at a time when the state has been reeling in the rising number of coronavirus cases and casualties. 

An order issued on Tuesday evening by Joint Secretary Debashish Das stated that Dr. Bhattacharjee was issued suspension orders under sub rule (I) of Rule 10 of the Central Civil Service (Classification, Control and Appeal) Rules, 1965, with a disciplinary action being contemplated next. He has also been told not to leave Agartala without acquiring prior permission. 

All Tripura Government Doctors Association (ATGDA) Secretary Dr. Rajesh Choudhury in a statement said they are not aware of the reason as to why the doctor was suspended. "We are aggrieved to see Dr. Bhattacharjee, who was on duty at Bhagat Singh COVID centre, suspended. We feel this is highly unjustified," he stated. He added saying rumors were floating that the suspension was due to a MLA's visit to the COVID care centre. "We are hearing that a public representative who visited the COVID Care Centre was not stopped in his tour, due to which Dr. Bhattacharjee was suspended. We don’t know if this is true, but if it is, it is highly unjustified," he said.

As per reports, Mr Burman was guided by the doctor during his visit to the COVID care centre, while also helping him wear a PPE kit. Dr Bhattacharjee's colleagues have since been protesting the decision to suspend him and have also held a meeting with Tripura's Additional Chief Secretary SK Rakesh. The doctors who have been protesting are also getting support from the Tripura branch of Indian Medical Association (IMA). Some reports state the suspension order might get revoked on Friday. 

Tripura's coronavirus positive cases tally has gone up 5,743 cases among which 1,826 cases are currently active with six more deaths recorded on Thursday taking the state's toll to 36.