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Medicos court mass arrest over quota issue

After a lull of several days, medical students of Delhi took their anti-quota agitation to the streets today.

india Updated: May 12, 2006 22:00 IST

After a lull of several days, medical students of Delhi took their anti-quota agitation to the streets on Friday demanding an assurance from the Prime Minister for not implementing the same and courted mass arrest in the process.

Facing the wrath of Delhi Police who fired water cannon and lobbed teargas shells, the medical students had gathered at Lady Hardinge Medical College (LHMC) in the morning and started marching towards Prime Minister's Office.

The students courted arrest when stopped by the police and were taken to Parliament Street and Tughlaq Road police stations.

Before courting arrest, the students marched through the busy business district of Connaught Place, creating huge traffic snarls, catching the police unawares.

Police made an unsuccessful bid to stop the striking medical students at India Gate circle, but the protestors managed to break the security cordon and surged towards South Block.

Hundreds of Delhi Police and Rapid Action Force personnel then stopped the students near National Museum on the busy Janpath road, leading to a scuffle.

Police then used water cannon and lobbed several teargas shells to disperse the students. Some of the students, including girls, suffered mild injuries in the melee.

Demanding non-implementation of any move to reserve seats for OBCs in higher educational institutions and central universities, the students have decided to continue their agitation after the expiry of May 11 deadline.

"We have detained around 300 students after they decided to court mass arrest," Northeast DCP Devesh Shrivastava said.

The students, however, claimed that nearly a thousand students have been arrested.

"We haven't decided on the future course of action, but one thing is sure; we won't bow down to police pressure and take forward this agitation till the reservation proposal is not withdrawn," Safal, a student of Maulana Azad Medical College, said.