The ongoing strike by students of Chintpurni Medical College turned serious on Saturday when Harsukhdeep Singh, a student of the college, hailing from Nawanshahr, tried to commit suicide by slashing his vein to express his resentment against the "indifference" of the government and the college authorities to their plight.
The students were staging a protest outside the house of Anil Joshi, minister for medical education and research, when the incident took place. They have been protesting outside Government Medical College for the past two weeks with a couple of students also staging a hunger strike, which entered its third day on Saturday.
Harsukhdeep was rushed to a nearby hospital. Meanwhile, four other protesting girl students developed health complications during the protest and were rushed to a nearby clinic.
Traffic on the road near Joshi's house at Medical Enclave was disrupted as the students blocked the road for several hours on Saturday evening as part of their vociferous protest against the government and the college authorities. The irate students resorted to sloganeering against the minister and the government, whom they charged with nonchalance towards their plight.
The area witnessed heavy police deployment, which prevented the students from approaching the residence of Joshi. Decrying the inaction by Joshi and the Punjab government in the matter despite assurances by him, the students resorted to sloganeering against the minister and the Punjab government.
The protesters have alleged that their institute lacks Medical Council of India (MCI) recognition and have demanded to be shifted to a recognised medical college citing the MCI nod to this demand. The protesters said they had spoken to Joshi, but all they had got was mere assurance of looking into the matter. The protest continued even till the filing of this report.
Police mute spectators
While a number of protesting students required medical attention after they developed health complications and one even slashed his wrist, the police deployed at the spot remained mute spectators and did not come to the aid of the protesters irrespective of the fact that three SHOs were present at the spot. Though the 108 ambulance was called when Harsukhdeep slashed his wrist, it failed to reach the spot.
A suicide note has been recovered from Harsukhdeep, who attempted suicide by slashing his vein during the protest. His condition was serious till the filing of this report. "Quit," begins the note, in which Harsukhdeep has said that his blood and life appeal that his colleagues be shifted to a recognised medical college. The note charges the college with playing with the students' careers for three years.