Doctors, health workers and locals shout slogans against the arrest of nine doctors in Birganj on Friday. Photo: Jiyalal Sah

The Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) has arrested nine doctors from two hospitals in Birganj on charges of having forged certificates in order to qualify to pursue their medical education.

A CIB team on Friday arrested Saroj Singh, Kushraj Giri, Panna Lal Patel, Arun Kumar Gupta, Mohmmad Rahulla Khan, Nimish Raman Pal, Irshad Ul Haq and Binaya Sah from Narayani Sub Regional Hospital, and National Medical College and Teaching Hospital, both in Birganj. They were later brought to Kathmandu for interrogation.

The CIB claims that the detained doctors had registered fake ISc (Intermediate Science) certificates, which are a prerequisite for the MBBS medical degree. This is the latest incident in a series of recent crackdowns by the CIB on fraudulent doctors.

Doctors in Birganj on Friday called an indefinite strike, in protest over the way their colleagues were arrested. They shut down the Out Patient Departments (OPDs) of the two hospitals where the nine doctors were employed. They also closed private medical centres, pharmacies and ambulance services.

The agitated doctors have even threatened to halt the operations of emergency services if the CIB does not clarify why the nine doctors were detained. They allege that the CIB carried out the arrests without complying with due process.

The CIB has recently come down heavily on doctors who earned MBBS degrees based on counterfeit academic credentials. In February this year, as many as 12 doctors were apprehended from different parts of the country for acquiring MBBS degrees by falsifying high-school certificates.