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Quota: Students, medicos back on streets

Source: PTI
Last updated on: August 22, 2006 14:38 IST
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Scores of anti-quota medicos and students hit the streets in New Delhi on Tuesday after a gap of almost three months, resuming their agitation a day after the Cabinet decided to introduce a Bill in Parliament proposing reservations in government-aided elite educational institutions. 

The agitating students clashed with the police when the latter were heading towards Congress president Sonia Gandhi's residence. The police also resorted to firing water cannons and lobbing of tear gas shells to disperse the agitators, who tried to break the security cordon and continue to move towards Sonia's residence.

Police was able to disperse the students, who suffered minor injuries while trying to get away from the tear gas and water cannons. The students wanted to submit a memorandum to Sonia against the Centre's policy.

Earlier, students from Indraprastha University, Jawaharlal Nehru University, IIT-Delhi and from medical colleges converged at Jantar Mantar demanding immediate reversal of the Cabinet decision taken late Monday night. Chanting anti-government slogans and holding the tricolour, agitating students said they will go to any extreme to force the government to reconsider their decision. 

"We had called off our agitation following the Supreme Court directive. The apex court should tell the government as well to reconsider the Cabinet decision as the matter is subjudice," Anil Sharma, spokesperson of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences Resident Doctors' Association said.

He said the medicos were considering legal experts and will move the Supreme Court against the government decision on Wednesday. Attacking the government, Sharma said the medicos' agitation will continue with the same intensity as the May anti-quota protests.

"Though we have not decided to go on a strike we are keeping our options open and it would be the last resort," he said, adding that students were being mobilised across the country and a national agitation could be launched soon.

Sharma said the government had taken the decision to introduce reservations under pressure from its allies – Pattali Makkal Katchi, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and the Left.

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