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Medicos threaten nationwide stir

Resident doctors and interns will not be part of the agitation.

india Updated: Apr 28, 2006 22:49 IST

A day after Union HRD Minister Arjun Singh declined to discuss the quota issue until after elections, agitating medical students on Friday said they will launch nationwide protests next week in continuation with their ongoing indefinite strike.

"In continuation with the ongoing agitation we have decided to launch the nationwide agitation next week. At the moment we are coordinating with students in several places including Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chandigarh," AIIMS Students' Union spokesperson Sasmit Sarangi said.

"It seems that the Election Commission's code of conduct is applicable to Mr Arjun Singh only and not his other Cabinet colleagues," he added.

However, he said resident doctors and interns will not be part of the agitation since patients were suffering.

He said the agitation against the proposal to provide 27 per cent reservation to OBCs in Central Government educational institutions, was getting support from students of several institutions, including IITs and the Delhi University.

"We are getting letters of support from all the parts of the country.... Students from across the country are ready to support us," he added.

"Representatives of the five colleges held a meeting this morning and we have decided to continue the agitation. All reports regarding suspension of the agitation are baseless," she added.

The 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 have boycotted lectures and stayed away from OPD services.

Arjun Singh on Thursday met representatives of the students but declined to discuss the issue until after elections.

The students decided to continue with the agitation as they were not "satisfied" with Singh's response to their demand for roll-back of the proposal.

They had sought "concrete assurance" from the minister with regards to the proposal. They demanded that Singh hold consultations with them before the matter reaches the Cabinet.

A source said the HRD Minister told the representatives that any decision was not for him alone to make. It would be taken by the Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

On Wednesday, hundreds of students of the medical colleges clashed with the police after it prevented them from 'petitioning' Union Human Resources Development Minister Arjun Singh against the reservation policy and road blockade.