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Mandal II: Penning protest

THE ANTI-QUOTA brigade is swelling. On Friday, while the SGPGIMS doctors went on strike, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) has decided to observe a statewide strike on Saturday. While the OPS would be suspended, the emergency and indoor services would continue for the benefit of the patients, said Dr AM Khan, honorary secretary of IMA.

india Updated: May 20, 2006 01:16 IST

Support swells; IMA’s statewide strike today

THE ANTI-QUOTA brigade is swelling.

On Friday, while the SGPGIMS doctors went on strike, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) has decided to observe a statewide strike on Saturday. While the OPS would be suspended, the emergency and indoor services would continue for the benefit of the patients, said Dr AM Khan, honorary secretary of IMA.

Besides, various like-minded people including university and degree college teachers, IIM students, businessmen too decided to jump on the anti-quota bandwagon.

At the anti-quota signature campaign that was launched by some students opposite the District Magistrate’s residence on Friday, thousands of people, including the wife of a senior army official posted in the city, queued up to support the cause.

The most interesting support came from Vinay Gautam, a student. He said, “I come from a backward class. But, even I agree that the kind of reservation that the government is trying to give to SC/ST and OBCs is a bit too much. We need support, all right. But, then it’s not in this fashion that we require it. Give us economic reservation, help our people provide proper coaching and studies to our children so that they can compete anywhere.” Gautam was among those students who had organised the signature campaign. The banner containing the signatures would be sent to the President of India, said Mayank, another student.

Virtually everyone was unanimous that the Mandal II unleashed by Union minister Arjun Singh could divide the society more sharply than Mandal I that saw spate of self-immolations across the country.

The Lucknow University Teachers Association (LUTA) and Lucknow University Associated Colleges Teachers Association (LUACTA) too held a meeting on Friday to support the anti-quota mission.

Dr Pushpendra Mishra of LUTA and Dr Moulendu of LUACTA later flayed the brutal police action on striking medicos supporting the anti-reservation campaign across the country and extended their support to the strike by SGPGIMS doctors in this regard.

“The quota politics is nothing but an attempt to get votes. This move might divide the society sharply on caste and class lines,” the teachers said.

Says Rahul, a student who joined the signature campaign on Friday, “We got about 2000 signatures today itself. Tomorrow too our drive would continue. We are saying that it’s ok to give reservation on economic basis but not in the manner that it is being done at present. This move puts our future at stake.”

The Association of Non-Reserved Indians, the Indian Medical Association etc too held a meeting on Friday to extend their support to the anti-quota stir and chalk out their future plans. Abhay Singh, an advocate and state general secretary of the Association of Non Reserved Indians said that the organisation has decided to stage a sit-in at Patel Park. Besides, several individuals like Dr Sangeeta Sharma too have decided to mobilise masses and hold a peaceful no-quota assembly at the same place on Saturday.