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Medicos announce nationwide protest

Staff Reporter

Peaceful agitation to step up pressure on the Government to roll back quota



"NO RESERVATION": Medical students demonstrating at India Gate in New Delhi on Friday. — PHOTO: V. V. KRISHNAN.

NEW DELHI : Protesting medical students have called for a peaceful nationwide protest this coming Tuesday to keep up the pressure on the Government to roll back the proposed move to provide 27 per cent reservation to Other Backward Classes in admission to Central universities and other institutions of higher learning.

Announcing this here on Friday, a student representative under the Youth for Equality banner, Sasmit Sarangi of the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), said the students want the Government to know that they would step up the agitation in case their demands are not met.

"We have called upon students all over the country to join the agitation and we are getting a positive response from the educational institutions. So far as many as 20 medial colleges have extended their support to our agitation including those in Kolkata, Punjab, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.''

Expressing their displeasure at "a total lack of commitment from the Government to resolve the matter'', Lady Hardinge Medical College student representative Amitasha Sinha said: "Union Human Resource Development Minister Arjun Singh on Thursday refused to commit and we were disappointed with the meeting, hence the need to continue our agitation. Undergraduate medical students will continue to boycott classes till our demands don't get a positive response.'' While work at all five Delhi hospitals affected by the medicos' agitation earlier this week returned to normal on Friday with resident doctors and interns resuming duty, undergraduate medical students continued to boycott classes and held a protest dharna at India Gate.

Students of AIIMS took out a protest march on Friday evening supported by over a dozen faculty members and student representatives from Maulana Azad Medical College, Lady Hardinge Medical College, University College of Medical Sciences and Vardhaman Mahavir Medical Colleges.

Extending their support to the protesting students, a senior AIIMS faculty member, Dr. B. K. Mohanty, said: "We condemn the manner in which the students were treated by the police and extend our support to their cause. The country needs students who come in with merit and not through reservations. We have to learn to respect merit. Youth is power and this movement by the students will bring positive results.''

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