Bengaluru: A group of doctors and members of a regional Kannada group staged protests raising their voices against each other on Tuesday, five days after a woman doctor was allegedly assaulted inside a hospital in Bengaluru.

While doctors at Minto Hospital have been protesting for the past four days demanding action against Karnataka Rakshana Vedike, the regional outfit staged a protest fighting the doctors and blaming them for negligence in treating patients.

Doctors said that activists from the Kannada group entered the OPD of the hospital and assaulted a doctor, an allegation refuted by the regional group.

Members of the Vedike group allegedly asked the woman doctor to speak in Kannada before attacking her on November 1.

Vedike chief Narayana Gowda said the doctors were to be blamed for the loss of eyesight with respect to more than 27 patients and added that the doctors were protesting to escape the cases filed against them.

"Neither any Karnataka Rakshana Vedike worker entered the hospital nor did they attack anybody. They are the reason behind the loss of eyesight of the poor people," he said.

The protesting doctors, on the other hand, opposed the allegation levelled against them by the Vedike members.

"We agree that some people lost their sight, but how are we being blamed for it? A case has been registered against the doctors, who treated the patients. Some Vedike people tried to attack a woman doctor on November 1," a doctor said.

He further said, "We oppose such attitude and demand concrete action against Vedike members. Entering the Out Patient Department (OPD) and attacking a doctor on duty is unbearable. We will continue to protest."

The doctors also said that action should be taken against the pharmaceutical company which supplied the drug that was administered to the affected patients and demanded that action be taken against the company. "People lost their sight due to the use of drugs supplied by the pharmaceutical company. Its drug contained some dangerous chemical. Action must be taken against the pharmaceutical company, and the government should be blamed for it," he said.

State health minister Sri Ramulu earlier urged the doctors to resume duty.

A patient, a tailor by profession and one of the participants in Vedike's protest, said he suffered damage to his entire eye. 

"We were treated at Minto Hospital. We not only lost eyesight, but the eye has been damaged. That's why we are demanding justice," he said.

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Meanwhile, Karnataka deputy chief minister and medical education minister CN Ashwath Narayan expressed his displeasure and said, "There is nothing right or wrong here. The victims have expressed their grievances. The doctors have expressed their grievances too. As per law, whatever has to be done, the police are taking care of the situation. Forcing someone as to how it has to be done is not fair, I believe. Being educated, we need to be fair. All of us are working for one nation and for the people."