Anti-reservation stir intensifies
The students are demanding a total roll back of the reservation proposal and a review of the present policy.india Updated: May 16, 2006 17:40 IST
The anti-reservation stir spread on Tuesday, crippling services in state-run hospitals in the national capital and other places even as groups demanding a quota for OBCs also took to the streets.
As medical students and junior doctors continued their protests in Delhi, Bihar, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Goa, Tripura, Madhya Pradesh and other states, pro-reservation bodies like the OBC Mahapanchayat joined the fray and staged rallies in support of the proposed quota, saying it was the only way to ensure quality education for poor students.
Activists of the OBC Mahapanchayat and All India Pasmanda Muslim Mahaj staged a sit-in at Jantar Mantar to demand implementation of the proposed 27 per cent quota for OBCs in elite educational institutions. Over 400 activists of the Mahatma Phule Samta Parishad, the outfit for OBCs floated by NCP leader and Maharashtra Minister Chhagan Bhujbal, also courted arrest after a demonstration in Mumbai.
There were also calls for the medical students to call off their stir. While Speaker Somnath Chatterjee appealed to them to withdraw their protest, the medical community of Tamil Nadu led by the Doctors Association for Social Equality said the agitation was "completely unethical" as the medicos had "deserted patients".
In most places, emergency services and out patient departments were maintained by senior doctors and house surgeons as thousands of patients faced problems in hospitals attached to government medical colleges.