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Striking docs meet Advani; Stir continues on day 5

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, May 18: In an attempt to garner support from the Opposition to counter the Government's ''no reservation roll-back'' stand, striking resident and junior doctors and medical students met senior BJP leader L K Advani as the stir entered the fifth day today.

A delegation of striking resident and junior doctors and medical students today called on Mr Advani and submitted a memorandum.

They demanded a roll-back of the government' s proposal of 27 per cent reservation for OBCs in higher educational institutions.

A delegation of students and doctors is meeting Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee this afternoon.

Resident and junior doctors of MCD-run hospitals today held a protest march here against the government's proposals to implement 27 per cent OBC reservation in institutions of higher education.

Over 100 students began an indefinite hunger strike at AIIMS on May 13, opposing the proposal.

Almost 60 fasting students have been admitted to AIIMS casualty due to developing electrolyte imbalances.

Some IIT, Delhi University and Indra Prastha University students also joined the strike at AIIMS.

''Mr Advani gave us patient hearing and assured us that he will look into the issues raised by us,'' Youth for Equality spokesperson and student leader Sasmit Sarangi told UNI after the hour-long meeting.

He said during the meeting, held at Mr Advani's residence, the representatives apprised the BJP leader about their stand on the reservation issue.

''We are against caste-based reservation and not against any section of the society,'' he added.

Lending support to striking resident and junior doctors and medical students, the slogan-raising MCD doctors were demanding immediate roll-back of the government proposal. The march, held under the aegis of 'Youth for Equality, which is spearheading the anti-quota agitation, began at Red Fort and moved to Raj Ghat.

Raising anti-reservation and anti-Arjun Singh slogans, they demanded that the Government ''drop'' the proposal, which would divided the country on the basis of caste.

''The Government is just not bothered about us....The agitation will go on. The proposal is being floated to create vote-banks by dividing people,'' said Dr Manish Singh, a Resident Doctor with Hindu Rao Hospital.

The Government's response to us so far is very disappointing, he said, adding that and the agitation will continue.

Regretting that the patients had to suffer, he said the government was responsible for the current situation.

''The authorities have no interest about what happens to the common man... Our colleagues are at AIIMS are on a strike and patients are suffering but nobody is listening,'' he added.

Medical services continued to be affected as resident and junior doctors and medical students' indefinite work boycott entered the fifth day today.

Though parallel OPD units were set up, services in Delhi's five premier government hospitals including AIIMS and LNJP, remained affected and patients had to suffer the consequences.

However, emergency and ICU departments functioned in all the hospitals.

The parallel OPD units were set up in All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), the Safdarjang, Guru Tegh Bahadur, the Lok Nayak Jaiprakash Narain and Sucheta Kriplani Hospitals.

Resident and Junior doctors of Deen Dayal Upadhyay, Ram Manohar Lohia, Lal Bahadur Shastri and Ihbas hospitals have also joined the striking students and doctors.

Yesterday, Minister of state without portfolio Oscar Fernandes visited the striking doctors and students at AIIMS.

He later held an informal meeting with a seven-member delegation of 'Youth for Equality' at Shram Shakti Bhawan.


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