Medicos continue anti-quota stir
Rejecting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's appeal to call off their strike and the GoM proposal for increased seats in educational institutions alongside quotas, medicos on Sunday decided to continue their agitation and Uttar Pradesh government clamped ESMA against the strikers.
'Youth for Equality' group spearheading the agitation, which entered the eighth day on Sunday, against 27 per cent quotas for other backward classes, said the Prime Minister's appeal "carries no meaning as it does not address our demands" for rollback of the proposed OBC reservations and review of existing reservation policy by a non-political committee.
The Prime Minister had appealed to the medicos on Saturday night asking them to have faith in the government, which was working to find an amicable solution.
The UP government invoked Essential Services Maintenance Act declaring the strike by junior doctors at Sanjay Gandhi Post-Graduate Insitute of Medical Sciences in Lucknow illegal and asked them to resume duty within 24 hours.
State Chief Secretary Navin Chandra Bajpai said the "services of those who do not report to duty would be terminated and legal action taken against them".
In another instance of cracking the whip, Union Health Ministry issued notices to medicos at All-India Institute of Medical Sciences here "to vacate hostels if they fail to return to work".
Ministry officials said the step was taken after the government's advertisements for recruiting resident doctors, interviews for which were likely to begin on Monday. "The new doctors will need hostels," they said.
The proposal of the four-member Group of Ministers to increase seats alongside introduction of reservations for OBCs was rejected at a meeting of various medical associations chaired by the Indian Medical Association's Mumbai branch.
"We resolved to oppose reservations at any cost," a spokesman said after the meeting.
Indian Institute of Technology-Kharagpur students and guardians of those appearing in IIT-Joint Entrance Examination joined the stir as it entered the third day in West Bengal.
The medicos and guardians took out a silent procession from CNMC to Park Street area of Kolkata on Sunday while Indian Institute of Management-Joka and a number of other institutes were expected to join the agitation on Monday.
A silent rally was also taken out by some 700 medicos, engineers and other professionals in Pune while 55 persons, including doctors and their parents" donated blood during a camp organised by Madhya Pradesh Junior Doctor's Association in Indore.
Meanwhile, the Punjab unit of the Shiv Sena extended full support to the agitating doctors.