On the Gandhi Jayanti Day, the agitating students of the Chintpurni Medical College, near Pathankot, gheraoed medical education and research minister Anil Joshi here but they got nothing but a mere assurance from him to look into the matter.
After paying tributes and garlanding the statue of the Father of the Nation at the Ram Bagh Gardens here on Thursday, Joshi seemed unmoved by the tears of the medical students, whose future seems bleak as their college is not recognised by the Medical Council of India (MCI).
These 130 students have been demanding that they be shifted to a recognised medical institute in the state. The students claim that the MCI has no objections to their being shifted to a recognised institute and has even written to the director research and medical education (DRME) in this context.
After failing to get a hearing from Joshi ever since they commenced their indefinite dharna outside the Amritsar Government Medical College on September 28, the students did finally manage to catch up with the minister near Gandhiji’s statue in the Ram Bagh Gardens.
MINISTER CAUGHT UNAWARE
As the minister emerged after garlanding the statue of the Father of the Nation, some of the students came forward and requested that he listen to them. However, he brushed them aside and sat in his official vehicle and tried to get away but the students, most of whom were girls, stood before the minister’s vehicle with folded hands and their faces covered with a black cloth. The police personnel did try to disperse them but in the absence of woman constables, the male cops thought it better not to intervene as most of the students were girls.
Thereafter the minister did get off his vehicle and in a tone that seemed to convey his anger, he said, “You think you will find a solution through these protests. I have been through such agitations”. These remarks were enough to bring tears rolling down the cheeks of the girls, as they pleaded, “Sir, we only want you to listen to us”.
The minister then told the students that he could proceed further in their case only if he has some official documents. At this, a student showed him the copy of a letter written by the MCI to the DRME last year, specifying that the 130 students be shifted to a recognised college as the MBBS degree from the Pathankot college will not be recognised. This document left the minister speechless for a moment and then he said, “Okay, give me two days”.
REJECT CHAIRMAN’S CALL TO JOIN CLASSES
Meanwhile, the protesting students have rejected the call of college chairman Swaran Salaria, a senior BJP leader and a rich industrialist, asking them to join classes within the next three working days or face strict action. “There is no point in going to a college the degree of which will not be recognised”, students said in one voice. The 130 students took admission in the college in 2011.