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Medical students of five colleges to continue with agitation

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, Apr 27 (UNI) Agitating medical students and interns today decided to continue their stir as they were not ''satisfied'' with HRD Minister Arjun Singh's response to their demand for roll-back of the proposal.

AIIMS student leader Ashwani Kumar said the agitation will continue and there is no question of calling it off at the moment since the Minister's response was not satisfactory.

The students and interns of five medical colleges went on an indefinite strike today against the move to raise OBC reservation quota.

Students of Maulana Azad Medical College, Lady Hardinge Medical College, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, University College of Medical Sciences and Vardhaman Mahavir Medical College boycotted lectures and stayed away from OPD services.

Resident doctors of the five colleges, who had extended support to the agitating students and to stay away from the OPD, will resume duty tomorrow.

OPD patients in these hopsitals bore the brunt of the strike with many returning without getting any treatment.

The agitating students and interns demonstrated at India Gate here today.

The students had sought something concrete from the Minister with regards to the proposal. They demanded that Mr Singh hold consultations with them before the matter reaches the Cabinet.

Mr Singh received five representatives of medical students protesting the proposed move to raise to 27 per cent reservation to OBCs in Central Government educational institutions, but declined to discuss the issue until after elections.

''Unfortunately, because of the directions of the Election Commission I am not in a position to interact with them and I have to maintain silence till the elections are over,'' Mr Singh said.

Announcements or public statements expected to affect voter behaviour are forbidden during elections by the Election Commission through a code of conduct.

A source at Mr Singh's residence said the HRD Minister told his callers that any decision was not for him alone to make. It would be taken by the Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Some students have also decided to boycott the ongoing exams of the second and fourth semester in protest against the move.

Reports of medical students' agitation are also poured in from other cities.

Yesterday, hundreds of students of the medical colleges clashed with the police after it prevented them from 'petitioning' Union Human Resources Development Minister Arjun Singh against the reservation policy and road blockade.

The students, were tear-gassed and sprayed with water cannons when they blocked traffic on Janpath, near Hotel Le Meridian crossing.

Mild lathicharge was also resorted to in order to break the 'rasta roko', which lasted for more than one-and-a-half hours.

However, no one was reported injured.

Three rounds of tear-gas shells were fired to disperse those who staged a 'rasta roko' to 'apprise' people on the issue.

Before dispersing, students told mediapersons that they wanted the people to know about the consequences of the reservation policy which was why they blocked traffic.


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