M A I N   N E W S

Medicos meet PM
No concrete assurance; hesitant to call off stir
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 26
Despite the Prime Minister’s assurance of no punitive action and protection of their interests, due to the mounting pressure to call off the stir from various quarters, protesting medicos, showing circumspection, have begun parleys to decide whether their fast will continue or not.

Following their meeting with the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, here today, the agitating medicos said while they had been assured that a roadmap prepared by the UPA Coordination Committee would look into all their demands with regard to the reservation issue, they were yet to reach a consensus on whether the strike should be called off.

Members of the Youth for Equality, who met the PM, said they had no written assurance from the government; therefore there was a need to “discuss the issue with more caution”.

“Initially we were assured that the policy would not be implemented so soon, but things changed. We cannot decide to call off the strike on our own, we need to discuss the issue with our counterparts spread over the country,” said Sasmit Sarangi.

He said, “Any decision pertaining to the strike will be made only after all those involved in the protest are unanimous on the issue”.

The meeting between the Prime Minister and the delegation of the striking medical students lasted for nearly an hour. Immediately after the meeting the Media Adviser to the PM told reporters that the PM had assured the students that this reservation proposal would not affect their interests.

“We have put forth our demands to the PM and he has told us that additional seats will be provided, but many concerns still remain,” said Dr Harsh of the Youth for Equality.

He also ruled out that the pressure to call off the strike was building from within the protestors.

Watchful of the government’s plans, the medicos said they were not totally convinced by the PM’s declaration of major expansion of seats in all institutions.

In his meeting with the students the PM had said that an oversight committee was looking into the reservation issue and technical expert groups would also be set up for providing further inputs.

A section of students also met Vice-President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat and sought his intervention.

Meanwhile, protests in the city continued with students burning effigies of V P Singh and Arjun Singh in the University College of Medical Sciences. OPD services continued to remain hit by the strike. The Faculty Association of Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital (RML) went on a daylong strike. OPD services in the hospital were affected and only emergency units were functional.

A group of students from the IIT, Delhi College of Engineering, the NSIT and some corporates also took out a silent candle light march from the IIT to the AIIMS later in the evening. A ‘Dilli Aao Desh Bachao’ protest rally is has been scheduled for tomorrow from the Capital’s Ram Lila Maidan which will be attended by anti-reservationsits from across the country.


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