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Docs to intensify stir as talks fail

"We had asked for a written assurance from the PM, but to no avail," Youth for Equality leader Dr Harsh Kumar said.

india Updated: May 28, 2006 18:55 IST

As yet another round of negotiations failed to break the impasse on OBC reservation, the striking medicos on the 15th day of the agitation on Sunday asserted that the stir will be intensified as the Government was not heeding their demand of a "written assurance".

"Support to us is coming in from all quarters... There is a huge rally in Bangalore today. The agitation will be intensified till the government gives us a written assurance," AIIMS RDA President and Youth For Equality leader Binod Patra said.

He said the striking medicos will be keenly following the meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Minister of State Without Portfolio Ocsar Fernandes on Sunday evening.

Meanwhile, the condition of 23 year-old Rishi Gupta, who tried to immolate himself on Saturday during an anti-quota rally, is critical, doctors attending on him said on Sunday.

Gupta had received 52 per cent burn injuries and was admitted to the Lok Nayak Jaiprakash Narayan Hospital.

The Youth For Equality (YFE) condemned the immolation bid and said it was committed to peaceful agitation.

"This is a deplorable act.... The youth is not a part of us. We are committed to a very peaceful agitation and do not believe in any form of violence," Dr Anirudh Lochan, a founding member of Youth for Equality said.

As the support for the anti-reservation kept growing, the Faculty Association of Lady Hardinge Medical college will go on a day-long mass casual leave on Monday.

Students of JNU will start a hunger strike from Monday and IIT Delhi will mobilise support from Sunday.

Delhi University students are expected to hold a rally in North Campus.

Representatives of the striking students and doctors on Sunday morning held a marathon three-hour meeting with Minister of State without portfolio Oscar Fernandes, Union Health Secretary PK Hota and Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister TKA Nair at the PMO in South Block.

The talks failed to deliver the "desired results" , the Students and doctors said.
"The Government is harping on the same stand and it has not budged an inch from its rigid stand.... The talks are inconclusive," Youth for Equality leader Dr Harsh Kumar said.

After the meeting, Mr Fernandes said the Government at present was focusing on increasing the number of seats in the general category.

"We have told them that the general category seats in educational institutes will not be reduced... Not a single student will be affected," he added.

He said the students have been assured that the OBC reservation would be introduced from the next academic year.

"The government has said reservations will be applicable from next June," he added.

Dr Kumar said the Government has asked for more time to discuss the demands and promised to get back to them.

"We had asked for a written assurance as a concrete measure on our demands from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh but that has not been given to us. The Government is yet to deliberate on the issue," he added.