M A I N   N E W S

Delhi medicos suspend stir
Smriti Kak Ramachandran
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 25
Medicos in the national Capital have decided to suspend their agitation till the Winter Session of Parliament, but have forewarned that they may return to the streets as and when the need arises.

Expressing solidarity with their counterparts in several other states, including West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Rajasthan, the Delhi medicos, under the banner Youth for Equality said while they would resume duties from tomorrow but they would be ready to revert to the path of agitation if needed.

The unexpected announcement of suspending the strike that came shortly after anti-reservation activists in the Capital were prevented from marching towards Parliament here on Friday, led to an initial burst of anger among students.

A section of students who were part of the protest said the decision was “not unanimous”.

“We have been here with them all through the struggle, we were hit by water cannons and tear gas shells just like them, yet they have announced the suspension of the agitation without discussing it with us,” complained a group of students who had come from
JNU and IIT.

AIIMS RDA President, Dr Binod Patra, however , ruled out any “disagreement”. He told The Tribune, “though doctors in Delhi will return to work, medicos in other states will continue to remain on strike, because of the police action being taken against them. We have, however , assured them that as and when required the agitation in Delhi will be resumed”.

Resident doctors from major hospitals in the Capital, including AIIMS, Maulana Azad Medical College and Hindu Rao , have been on mass casual leave since Wednesday to protest against the government’s decision to table the reservation Bill in Parliament.

With the reservation Bill having been referred to a Parliamentary Standing Committee, the students under the banner of Youth for Equality have decided to suspend their agitation and move the Supreme Court.

Several hundred students from five medical colleges, IIT, Delhi University, IP University, Jawaharlal Nehru University and some schools who converged at Jantar Mantar tried to march towards Parliament, but were stopped by the police.

As soon as the crowds dispersed by late afternoon, members of the AIIMS RDA announced their decision to suspend their strike.

Commenting on the decision to suspend the strike, Dr Patra said, “now that the Bill has been referred to a Standing Committee we will discuss the issue with our legal experts and take the matter to the Supreme Court. The suspension of the agitation should not be perceived as the end of our protest against reservation”.

Students from five medical colleges in the city will also resume classes from Saturday, but have also not ruled out the possibility of the strike “being resumed at any point”.

“Our counterparts from other states who had attended the National Coordination Committee meeting here in July had assured us that they would join us whenever there is a call for going on strike and now that they are still on strike in their respective states, we assure them that we will stand by them,” said students of the University College of Medical Sciences.

Earlier, anti-reservation activists took out a protest rally from Jantar Mantar and blocked traffic. Some students who were later detained also disrupted traffic movement near Connaught Place and broke the window panes of police buses stationed close to site of the rally. Medical services also remained disrupted in most city hospitals today.




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