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Mumbai docs protest against lathicharge, reservations

Written by: Staff
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Mumbai, May 15 (UNI) Over 1000 doctors staged a protest at Azad Maidan here against the reservation policy and police lathicharge on protesting medicos last Saturday.

The protesting doctors were affiliated to associations like the Indian Medical Association, Bombay Psychiatric Association, and Association of Medical Consultants.

Anaesthetist Dr Smitha Sharma from Bombay Hospital, while speaking to UNI, said the reservation policy can at best create only mediocre doctors. ''How can you compare a student who has secured 60 per cent to one who has secured 90 per cent?'' she queried.

Strongly condemning the lathicharge on protesting doctors last Saturday, Dr Sharma said continuation of the reservation policy even after 50 years of Independence, was unwarranted.

Dr Ram Prabhu, orthopaedic surgeon and a former president of the Bombay Orthopaedic Society, told UNI that 52 per cent reservation is an astronomical figure. Deserving students miss their seats for securing only 1-2 per cent less, he pointed out.

''How can students, who get 40-50 per cent, secure a medical seat?'' he questioned. ''This has led to a brain drain as deserving students fail to secure a seat here. Five years hence, there will be no quality doctors,'' he said while noting that the present mediocrity in the medical profession, engendered by the reservation policy, is the reason behind occasional agitations against doctors by relatives of patients.

Dr Prabhu also came down heavily on the police high-handedness last Saturday. How can the police take law into their own hands and use force on the doctors? This is violation of human rights,'' he said.

Dr Meera Satoskar from K J Somiya Medical College and Dr Madhura Satoskar from Nair College said the medicos were silently protesting against the reservation policy last Saturday when the police lathicharged them. The police allegation that the doctors had tried to barge into the Raj Bhavan is untrue, they said. Dr Swati from MGM Medical College said the doctors were not against OBCs but postgraduation admissions should be based on merit.

''You have to fight for your right to equality or become a victim to the quota system,'' another protesting doctor said. Increasing reservations would cause 1350 deserving students from the general category to lose out on IIT education, the protestor said.

''Caste, something which you have never given any thought to, can become the greatest hindrance in your career,'' commented Dr Nitya and Dr Mohammed Meraj.

UNI LS MAZ ARB VC1900

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