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Students protesting reservation tear-gassed, cane-charged

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, Apr 26 (UNI) Police lobbed tear gas shells and baton charged hundreds of students of Delhi's five medical colleges protesting the government's policy providing for reservation in Central universities and institutions of higher education.

Water cannons were also used to disperse agitating students who had blocked traffic at Janpath, near Hotel Le Meridian crossing, which lasted for more than one-and-a-half hours this afternoon.

The students, before dispersing, told mediapersons that their agitation would continue in their respective colleges through a series of sit-ins, demonstrations and protest rallies.

''We wanted people to know about the disastrous consequences of the reservation policy, which was why we blocked traffic,'' they added.

Three rounds of tear-gas shells were fired to disperse those who staged a 'rasta roko' and a mild lathicharge resorted to in order to break the 'jam'.

However, no one was reported injured.

Earlier, the medicos burnt an effigy of Arjun Singh at Jantar Mantar and raised anti-reservation slogans. Denouncing the 'backward step' of the Union HRD Minister, protestors demanded that the proposed Bill be scrapped.

Prior to this, students from AIIMS, Maulana Azad Medical College, University College of Medical Sciences, Lady Hardinge Medical College and Vardhman Mahavir Medical College assembled near Akbar Road residence of Arjun Singh to petition the minister on the issue.

But the police stopped them from proceeding to the minister's house as they did not have prior permission. Instead, they were asked to move to Jantar Mantar.

At Jantar Mantar they were joined by their other collegues who after staging protest demonstrations moved to Janpath for 'rasta roko'.

Police later said no one had been detained or arrested.

In the second leg of demonstrations to protest reservations, medical students also gathered at Raj Ghat, where they were joined by students of associted hospitals and engineering colleges. Some students from the Delhi University also joined the protests.

They later took out a protest rally demanding that the proposed reservation Bill be done away with as it was a negative step.

The 'show', they said, was to mobilise support of the people in general and student community in particular, whose future was at stake with this self-defeating policy.


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