New Delhi, June 1: Medicos agitating against the 27 per cent OBC quota in higher education today decided to return to work in the face of a Supreme Court directive, but promised to continue their protest.
''Respecting the Supreme Court assurance that our interests will not be ignored and for a larger public interest the Resident Doctors have withdrawn their strike for the time being, but the protests will carry on throughout the country,'' Dr Binod Patra, president of AIIMS Resident Doctors Association, said tonight.
The government, meanwhile, expressed satisfaction over the sriking doctors' decision and assured that there would be no punitive action against those joining duty tomorrow.
''Good that the doctors at AIIMS are going back to work. I hope that medicos at other colleges would also follow. We hope that normalcy would be restored by tomorrow morning after a long two and a half weeks,'' Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss told UNI.
The medicos have also decided to constitute a national coordination committee on June 5 comprising representatives from all institutes, besides doctors and professionals, Youth for Equality representative Jatin Khosla said.
A Supreme Court vacation bench, comprising of Justice Arijit Pasayat and Lokeswar Singh Panta, while asking the medicos to withdraw their strike had directed that the state should not take any punitive action against any doctor for participating in the strike.
The court also said that any action taken by the government for implementation of reservation to the OBCs in admission to educational institutions would be subject to outcome of the pending writ petition.
The medicos, meanwhile, expressing dissatisfaction with the existing writ petition, said they will file a separate petition challenging the reservation policy of the government.
In an application filed in the apex court today, the doctors said, ''The writ petition has not raised the basic issue regarding wholesome review of the reservation policy for the consideration of the court.'' Medical services at the AIIMS, Safdarjang Hospital, Maulana Azad Medical College, Lady Hardinge Medical College and the Vardhman Mahavir Medical College in the Capital would normalise as Resident Doctors return to work from 0800 hrs tomorrow, the striking doctors here said.
The medical students at AIIMS would also return to classes tomorrow, a union representative said, adding, the decision to boycott classes may be taken individually, but the union will involve in it.
For other institutions, the decision will be taken by the medical students there, he added.