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Medicos from 5 colleges begin indefinite hunger strike

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, May 14 (UNI) More than 200 doctors from Delhi's five medical colleges today went on a hunger strike at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences protesting the neo-quota system proposed for institutions of higher learning, even as private doctors here decided to go on a strike tomorrow.

The indefinite hunger strike by resident doctors, interns and students from Delhi's five medical colleges -- Maulana Azad Medical College, Lady Hardinge Medical College, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, University College of Medical Sciences and Vardhaman Mahavir Medical College -- under the banner of 'Youth for Equality', began at about 1030 hrs at the AIIMS.

Stressing that their four-charter demands be fulfilled, protestors termed the government stand on the issue as ''hypocritical'' and said the police action on agitators was tantamount to another 'Jallianwala Bagh', where they were beaten like animals.

Besides demanding immediate roll back of the proposed 27 per cent reservation and setting up of a committee to review the existing 'national reservation policy', the protestors said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh should immediately intervene into the matter and strict action be initiated against those responsible for brutal and violent action against doctors.

They said the indefinite hunger strike would continue till their demands were met.

Calling for a strike tomorrow, Indian Medical Association president Dr Sanjiv Malik said all resident doctors would also be joining the strike called by the Delhi State unit of the IMA.

Meanwhile, following the strike public inconvenience at the AIIMS, Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital and Safdarjung Hospital reached another high with OPDs affected badly at all the three places.

At AIIMS with no doctor at the OPD some patients were seen lying ouside while others wore a worried look.

While, at RML Hospital doctors displayed posters and banners, denouncing the reservation policy, at Safdarjung patients faced hardships in getting medical attention.

A private hospital 'Max Healthcare' today issued a statement announcing that its OPD services in Delhi would remain closed tomorrow (Monday).

The decision, it said, was in response to a strike call made by the Indian Medical Association. However, it added, that in-patient and emergency services would remain ''fully operational''.

UNI AN PR BD2003

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