On the fourth day of their protest against the Punjab government, students of Chintpurni Medical College near Pathankot held a candlelight march to "awaken" chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and medical education and research minister Anil Joshi from their "slumber" so that they could come forward to save their careers from being ruined.
As many as 130 students are seeking readmission in other medical colleges of Punjab. They alleged that their career was in jeopardy with the Medical Council of India (MCI) not giving recognition to Chintpurni Medical College, where they had been admitted in 2011.
At the time of their admission, the college authorities had assured them that they would comply with all directions of the MCI so that the institute gets recognised, said students, but no green signal came from the MCI till date.
On Wednesday, the students, who have been sitting on dharna outside Government Medical College here, took out a candlelight procession to Medical Enclave residence of minister Anil Joshi.
"We are holding lit candles with hope that the light of 100-odd candles would have a positive effect on the minister," they said.
However, when the protesting students were stopped by cops a couple of yards before the minister's residence, they handed over their stethoscopes and other medical equipment to the cops, with the request that these be placed outside the residence of Joshi.
Many girl students broke down, while pleading before police officers to make the minister see reason.
"Please tell us what we should do so that our demand for admission to another college is accepted. We have no future in a college whose degree will not be recognised," some of the girls were heard telling police officers.
The protesting students held chairman of their college Swaran Salaria, who is a senior BJP leader, responsible for "playing with their careers". They claimed that Joshi had turned a deaf ear to their demands as he did not want to annoy Salaria.
The students reiterated that when the MCI had no objection to their being shifted to another college, the state government should concede to their demand.
It was after running around for a month that they finally decided to sit on dharna in Amritsar, the home town of the medical education minister, the added.