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Quota Bill to Standing Comt, YEF suspends protests

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, Aug 25: The anti-reservation protests in the capital were suspended till the Winter Session of Parliament as the Government today introduced the controversial Quota Bill to provide reservation for the SC/STs and OBCs in institutions of higher education and later referred it to the Standing Committee of Parliament for screening.

The Youth for Equality (YEF), which is spearheading the anti- quota stir, said the move was a ''victory'' for anti-reservation activists and they were hopeful that their concerns will be addressed.

''It is a moral victory for us. We are suspending our protests with immediate effect... Doctors and students of AIIMS are back to work with immediate effect,'' AIIMS Resident Doctors' Association president and Youth for Equality leader Binod Patra said.

However, noisy scenes prevailed as members of the NDA objected to Human Resource Development Minister Arjun Singh trying to give a ''political speech'' as the Bill was tabled in Parliament.

RJD's Devendra Prasad Yadav (RJD) tried to raise the issue of difference between the Bills in Hindi and English version of the copies and said if it is passed, it will create a confusion before the judiciary.

In response, Speaker Somnath Chatterjee said it will be sent to the Standing Committee and he was ''sure that we are competent enough to rectify those minor differences''.

Earlier, scores of anti-government, anti-Arjun Singh and anti-reservation slogan-shouting students and medicos were detained during a protest march to Parliament that stalled traffic in central Delhi as the controversial Bill was tabled in Parliament.

However, students from different parts of the country participated in the anti-quota stir before the Bill was referred to the Standing Committee of Parliament.

Students of Maulana Azad Medical College (MAMC), AIIMS and University College of Medical Sciences here boycotted classes and duties while the resident doctors from AIIMS and MAMC were on a mass casual leave since yesterday morning.

B Tech students from Institute of Technology, Banaras Hindu University (IT-BHU) joined the varsity medicos on the anti-quota bandwagon.

After boycotting classes this morning, over 500 students from B Tech (I) to final year, carried out a protest march raising anti-UPA government and anti-Arjun Singh slogans.

Medical services in Jaipur were crippled as medical students and resident doctors took out a rally from the Sawai Mansingh Hospital in protest against the 27 per cent reservation.

In Mumbai, more than 250 anti-quota protestors were detained by the police in a pre-dawn clamp down on medical students and other potential agitators.

Around 135 medical students, which included several female and junior students were detained by the Lamington road police. Other protestors have been detained under the Gamdevi and V P Road police stations.


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