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Arjun rules out talks with striking Delhi medicos

However, the HRD Minister is ready to meet the medical students who are on strike on the quota issue. In pics: Docs' stir

india Updated: Apr 27, 2006 19:18 IST

Under attack over his controversial proposal for reservation for OBCs in elite educational institutions, HRD Minister Arjun Singh on Thursday said he was ready to meet the agitating medicos but expressed his inability to talk on the reservation issue due to Election Commission directives.

"I was pained by the news that a number of students of medical colleges wanted to meet me (on the reservation issue) and were not allowed to come and see me."

"Unfortunately, because of the directions of the Election Commission I am not in a position to interact with them and I have to maintain silence till the elections are over," he said in a statement.

Scuffles broke out between students and the police on Wednesday as hundreds of medicos marched towards Singh's Akbar Road residence. Police fired tear gas shells and water canons to disperse the students, who had not taken prior permission.

Asserting that he was open to meet anybody who came to meet him, Singh said, "Of course there has to be some limitations on the numbers."

"Still if anybody wants to meet me, I have no hesitation to meet them as may be requested," he said.

Ministry sources said Singh has asked the Delhi Police to remove deployment of forces near his residence.

Students and interns of five medical colleges in the capital went on an indefinite strike on Thursday protesting against the proposed move to increase OBC quotas in educational institutions. 

Delhi medicos on indefinite strike

Students and interns of five medical colleges went on an indefinite strike on Thursday protesting against the proposed move to increase OBC quotas in educational institutions.

Students of Maulana Azad Medical College, Lady Hardinge Medical College, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, University College of Medical Sciences and Vardhaman Mahavir Medical College were boycotting lectures and staying away from OPD services, leader of the group Anirudh Lochan said.

The resident doctors have also extended their support to the agitation and would be joining the students during the demonstrations, he claimed.

"Only OPD services would be affected and other services would be normal to ensure that patients do not suffer," he added.

Maulana Azad Dental College and Hospital Principal Dr Mahesh Verma, however, said, "The students and the resident doctors are on a one-day token strike".

Some students have also decided to boycott the ongoing exams of the second and fourth semester, Lochan said adding, "it was their individual decision."

"We have not yet decided on boycotting the exams but some students are doing it on their own," he said.

Medical students clashed with the police on Wednesday when they were stopped from moving towards HRD Minister Arjun Singh's residence to register their protest against the Centre's proposed move to increase OBC quotas in educational institutions.