Anti-quota protests intensify | india | Hindustan Times
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Anti-quota protests intensify

However, medicos want seats in academic institutions to be increased before quota-hike is implemented.

india Updated: May 19, 2006 13:34 IST

Continuing their anti-reservation protests, striking medicos on Friday demanded that the number of seats in higher educational institutions be increased before implementing the proposed OBC quota-hike.

Joining the medicos in their protests, representatives of the AIIMS Faculty Association began a day-long fast without striking work.

"We are supporting the students and doctors and we want the government to listen to them," said Dr KK Handa, General Secretary of Faculty Association.

So far, the medicos had been demanding a total rollback of the proposed OBC quota in elite institutions of higher education. The agitating medicos have decided to continue their strike.

"The decision to continue to strike was taken at a General Body meeting of the students and resident doctors. Negotitaions are on but we will continue to strike," Vice President of AIIMS Resident Doctors' Association, Dr Subroto Mandal said.

The striking medics had met a group of ministers on Thursday who assured them that a mechanism was being worked out by which the number of seats in the general category would not come down with the implementation of the new quota policy.

"It is impossible to increase the number of seats as it also needs infrastructure, doctors, teachers etc," Mandal said.

He also said, "we want an assurance that unless the number of seats are increased with proper infrstructure, there should not be an increase in the quota from the current level."

Medicos are now also demanding setting up of an apolitical judicial committee comprising experts in different fields such as doctors, engineers, lawyers and scientists.

Mandal said some of the resident doctors are also continuing with their hunger strike.

He said no action has been taken by the government in response to the 24-hour notices issued to striking doctors. "We had burnt these notices as an expression of our solidarity," he said.

Meanwhile, the government said several of the striking doctors in hospitals have resumed duties. On Thursday, 91 doctors from AIIMS returned to work.

But Mandal dismissed the government's claim saying "only few doctors have joined and most of them are with us."

Health services continued to be affected in the hospitals of the national capital with only emergency and in-patient services running. There are only skeletal OPD services, sources said.