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Several injured, detained in anti-quota protest

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, Aug 24: Several anti-reservation protestors were injured and scores detained during a demonstration in the capital as police used water cannon and teargas to stop them from marching towards the Supreme Court.

With the Government proposing to table the OBC reservation bill in Parliament tomorrow, anti-quota protests flared up as medicos and students clashed with police near the Supreme Court during the demonstration.

Police used water cannon and teargas shells to disperse scores of demonstrators as they were trying to form a ''human chain'' near the court and submit a memorandum to the court registrar.

Angry students and residents doctors, raising anti-government, anti-reservation and anti-Arjun Singh slogans and carrying flags and placards, held demonstrations near India Gate against the Government's move to implement OBC quota in institutes of higher education.

While the protestors, wearing black arm bands, were trying to move towards the Supreme Court, where prohibitory orders are in place, Rapid Action Force and Delhi police stopped them.

The doctors and students have threatened to go on strike from tomorrow if the bill is tabled. A protest march to Parliament will will be held tomorrow, they said.

''Strike is the last option but if the government forces us we will take that step also.... We want to know why the government took the decision in such a hurry,'' Youth for Equality leader Anirudh Lochan said.

He said the representatives of protestors only wanted to submit the memorandum to the court, appealing for its intervention and stopping the bill from being tabled.

Mr Lochan said the medicos and students were against caste-based reservation and the ''vote bank politics'' of the government.

''The Government had assured us during the first phase of the agitation in May that all our concerns will be addressed before the Bill is tabled... What happened to that?'' he added.

Students of Maulana Azad Medical College (MAMC), AIIMS and University College of Medical Sciences boycotted classes and duties while the resident doctors from AIIMS, MAMC and Hindu Rao Hospital went on mass casual leave in protest against the government's decision.

Essential services, including emergency, functioned normally.

However, services in the OPD were affected and patients had to wait in long queues for their turn.

Students from Delhi University, JNU, IP University and IIT also participated in the protest.


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