After a vociferous protest against Punjab cabinet minister Anil Joshi, the students of the Chintpurni Medical College, Pathankot, lifted their dharna near his house " on Sunday after Congress MLA Raj Kumar Verka, who is also deputy chairman of the National Commission for SC/ST, assured them of "all possible help.
However, the agitating students continued their strike and a dharna outside the Amritsar Government Medical College here.
The students, who allege that their college is not recognised by the Medical Council of India (MCI), have been sitting on a dharna outside the Government Medical College here for the past 15 days. The agitating students are demanding that they be shifted to some other medical college in the state. However, the college management has consistently maintained that students are being misled by their "rivals".
Notably, the students' protest near the street leading to Anil Joshi's house had turned serious on Saturday when four girl students fell ill and a male student, Harsukhdeep Singh, had attempted suicide by slashing his vein to express his resentment against the apathy of the government and the college authorities towards their plight.
As the protest was going on outside Joshi's residence since Saturday afternoon, Dr Raj Kumar Verka reached the dharna site and requested the students to lift the dharna, as this was causing inconvenience to the commuters.
Verka, while talking to the agitating students, told them that the National Commission for SC/ST has called a meeting of the MCI Chairman, state medical education secretary and college authorities in Chandigarh on October 15 to discuss the entireissue in detail. He assured the students that no injustice will be done to them.
Following his assurance, the agitating students lifted the dharna outside the minister's house, but continued the sit-in near the local medical college.
Verka also visited the Guru Nanak Dev Hospital and enquired after injured student Harsukhdeep Singh. He later said that it was unfortunate that the boy had to slash his vein to raise the voice of sutudents.
CHAWLA SEEKS HARSH VARDHAN'S INTERVENTION
Backing the agitating students, senior BJP leader Laxmi Kanta Chawla has demanded union health minister Harsh Vardhan's immediate intervention to get the issue resolved.
In a letter to the minister, Chawla explained the plight of the students and mentioned that the Punjab Government has failed to get the issue resolved. The situation is such that some students are falling ill and one has also attempted suicide, she wrote in the letter.
Chawla has also written a letter to the MCI and urged it to make its stand clear over the entire issue.