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Docs still despondent

IT WAS meant to be a show of strength by the medicos protesting against the OBC quota proposal. And the Dilli Aao, Desh Bachao rally at the Ramlila ground on Saturday evening went according to plan ? till a person attempted self-immolation outside the venue.

india Updated: May 28, 2006 01:14 IST

2 self-immolation bids — in Delhi and Cuttack

IT WAS meant to be a show of strength by the medicos protesting against the OBC quota proposal. And the Dilli Aao, Desh Bachao rally at the Ramlila ground on Saturday evening went according to plan — till a person attempted self-immolation outside the venue.

Rishi Raj Gupta, a 24-year-old gutka seller from Shahdara, was saved by policemen and admitted to the LNJP hospital with 30-40 per cent burns. His condition was said to be stable. The medicos made it clear that Gupta was not in their plans. MAMC RDA member Jitendra Singhla said, “This man was not part of our rally and we’ve no idea why he tried to immolate himself.”

Even as this was being investigated, news of another self-immolation attempt came in — this time from Cuttack in Orissa. A PG student of SCB Medical College and Hospital, Surendra Mohanty, who was at the forefront of the agitation on the campus there, was saved by his friends. But it could not be confirmed whether it was related to the quota issue.

At the rally, the medicos got the desired response as more than 10,000 people, including students from other cities, pledged support to the agitation.

The doctors said they would continue with their strike, making it clear the PM’s assurance on increasing educational opportunities had no effect on them. They stuck to the demands for a non-political panel to review the quota policy and exclusion of the creamy layer.