Medical services in Hyderabad came to a standstill as thousands of junior doctors at the government hospitals continued to boycott their duties for the third day on Monday.
Gathering under banner of the Telangana Junior Doctors Association (TJDA), the striking medicos are demanding the Special Protection Force (SPF), withdrawn in 2007, be provided to them again in the wake of increasing attacks by relatives of patients.
Medical services stand crippled at the Osmania, Gandhi, Niloufer and Government maternity hospitals at Pitlaburz and Sultan Bazar, and at MGM Warangal hospital.
Meanwhile, the striking doctors are facing flak over the death of nine infants at Niloufer Hospital, allegedly due to poor care.
The protestors are claiming that the deaths had nothing to do with the strike and that even in the normal course such deaths occur daily because infants are brought from various parts of the state in critical condtion.
Earlier, Director of Medical Education (DME) T Raviraj said: "The services have not been affected due to the strike as we have adequate staff to treat the patients and the people who are on strike are post graduates and house surgeons."
He further said that a committee has been constituted to study the demands of the striking doctors.
The protests have been on since the last two weeks but got intensified since Saturday night after the doctors refused to attend emergency duties.