Himalayan News Service
KATHMANDU/POKHARA: Nepal Medical Association today announced that they would halt essential services, except emergency, in health institutions across the nation on May 23 to pressure the government to make public the whereabouts of Dr Bhaktaman Shrestha, executive director of BP Koirala Memorial Cancer Hospital of Bharatpur, Chitwan.
NMA President Dr Kedar Narsingh KC said they would withdraw their protest programme if the executive director’s whereabouts are made public within 48 hours.
NMA announced that all private, public and community health institutions and clinics would be affected by strike.
Shrestha was kidnapped by an unidentified group while returning home from the hospital at around 10 pm on Tuesday.
KC said the doctors would work tying a black wrist band as a ‘symbolic protest’ to pressure the government.
The police, meanwhile, have not found any clue about the whereabouts of Dr Shrestha.
They have intensified search for Dr Shrestha in Pokhara and its surrounding areas after his car was found at Amar Singh Chowk last evening.
According to Prem Malla, District Superintendent of Police, Kaski, the police have already raided 98 houses and 134 hotels in search of Dr Shrestha. He said, “From the way Dr Shrestha’s car was parked, it can be guessed that a professional gang was involved in the incident. The drivers trained in Nepal generally do not keep the gear in neutral, handbrake on or the steering straight.”
A team of the doctors and the members of the BPKMCH management committee accused the government of not been serious about the search for Dr Shrestha in a press meet held at Western Regional Hospital in Pokhara.
Kin ready to pay ransom
CHITWAN: Shilu Shrestha, Dr Shrestha’s wife, said she was ready to meet any demand of the kidnappers, including paying ransom. “Dr Shrestha should be released, as he is a skilled doctor. In his absence, many patients have been deprived of treatment.” She clarified that Dr Shrestha was not a member of Unity as had been rumoured.