M A I N   N E W S

Panel working out formula, but strikers adamant
Smriti Kak Ramachandran
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 19
With the government still dragging its feet over the contentious issue of reservation, students protesting against quotas are becoming increasingly restive. Continuing their indefinite hunger strike, students, firm on their demands, are unequivocal that any threat of action from the government will not alter their plans.

While the Group of Ministers at their first meeting to evolve a mechanism on the quota imbroglio failed to make much headway, students reaffirmed their intention of fighting the “quota raj”.

Taking note of the anti-reservation campaign gaining momentum across the country, the government tried to propitiate the anti-quota section by announcing an increase in the number of seats, which will be earmarked for the OBCs, thereby maintaining a status quo in the General Category seats.

Union Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee, speaking after the GoM meeting on Friday, said figures are being worked out and there could be an increase in the number of seats in the existing institutions and creation of new institutions.

He added that no time-frame had been set for the GoM to come up with a new formula and that the PM would be apprised of the recommendations prior to his consultations with political parties, beginning Monday.

While administrations, acting on the behest of the government, in various hospitals have begun threatening doctors with termination of services for not reporting back to work, protesting doctors claimed they will continue to strike work till the government “comes out with an acceptable solution”.

“There have been reports of termination letters being sent out to senior residents, but so far no one has resumed duty. Senior doctors and faculty members are supporting us in large numbers, they have not only pledged moral support, but are also contributing money for the cause,” said Ritin of the Youth for Equality.

On the sixth day of the hunger strike here today, a special prayer was organised at the AIIMS campus, this was “to ward away evil from the society”, the students claimed.

Meanwhile students under the banner of Youth for Equality and United Students have announced rallies in the Capital on Saturday. “We are being joined by software professionals working in MNCs, senior citizens, school students and traders’ organisations,” said Aditya Raj Kaul of the United Students.

School students along with students from Delhi University, IIT, JNU and private dentists have joined the protest at AIIMS. “Till date we have over 104 institutions from across the country having pledged their support,” said members of the Youth for Equality. 


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