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Engineering students join issue

ENGINEERING STUDENTS of the City today joined the anti-quota stir even as health services in the State?s largest government hospital, MY, remained crippled with junior doctors launching an indefinite hunger strike.

india Updated: May 20, 2006 15:08 IST

ENGINEERING STUDENTS of the City today joined the anti-quota stir even as health services in the State’s largest government hospital, MY, remained crippled with junior doctors launching an indefinite hunger strike.

However, the junior doctors started a parallel OPD in front of the MY Hospital main gate after putting up a lock on the gates so that emergency services could be provided.

The striking medicos got a major boost when engineering students joined the agitation by taking out a rally from Bal Vinay Mandir grounds making it the first time that students of educational streams other than medicine have joined the agitation.

Junior Doctors’ Association Indore branch representative Dr Mohit Bhandari said that they would sit on hunger strike in batches of 10 every day. Besides, they had also decided to join the ‘maha rally’ to be taken out by medicos in Bhopal tomorrow.

Dr Bhandari said besides these agitation plans the JDA had launched a ‘mission’ from today to locate and identify all candidates of OBC, SC and ST, who despite being eligible have not got admission in various engineering and polytechnic courses, where reservations already exist.

There are almost 1,700 reserved seats in various institutions in the State and many deserving candidates have not got admissions. Under this mission, the JDA will also demand that the second generation of candidates who have availed of the benefits of reservation not be given reservation. Besides, those with an annual salary of over Rs 1 lakh should also not be given reservation.

Meanwhile, engineering college students under the aegis of ‘Youth For Equality’ took out a rally from Bal Vinay Mandir grounds and marched along Race Course Road today to protest against reservation and what they termed as the ‘vote bank policy’.

Praveen Rai and Nagendra Singh said that the rally was not meant to oppose ST, SC and OBC students. “Our fight is against the policies and system. The members of ‘Youth For Equality’ invited students from all management, medical and engineering institutes to join the rally. Pre-engineering and pre-medical students also joined the march. Shouting slogans like ‘reservation is more harmful than AIDS’, ‘united we stand reserved we fall’ and ‘reservation: is it the final solution’.

Navneet Bargujar, despite belonging to the OBC category, participated in the rally. Navneet is an engineering student from Shri Vaishnav Institute of Technology and Science. Talking to Hindustan Times, Navneet said that he had never got a caste certificate made.

He strongly opposed the reservation policy and discrimination based on category. Another ST student, Rahul Burde, also marched along and said that assessment of ability was more important than differentiation of caste. An effigy of Union HRD Minister Arjun Singh was burnt and participants of the rally were addressed by Lakhan Prajapati and Puneet Bhandari in the end.

Around 500 students participated in the rally and were certain they would make the government see their point. Ankit Shrivastav said that their teachers and parents did not join the rally but allow them to participate in it.

First Published: May 20, 2006 15:08 IST