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Quota protests: Massive rally marks Day 7

Source: PTI
May 20, 2006 13:18 IST
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The anti-quota agitation by the medicos further intensified on Saturday with students, parents and medical faculty taking out a massive protest march in the national capital.

The striking medicos under the banner of Youth for Equality were joined by students from Delhi University and medical colleges around the capital, parents of some agitating students, lawyers and a group of chartered accountants.

Over 1000 students were marching from Maulana Azad Medical College in Central Delhi towards Jantar Mantar near Parliament House, where the rally culminates.

"We want a peaceful rally and also avoid any confrontation with police and pro-reservation activists," Dr Anand, a representative for Youth for Equality, said.

The medicos, who were on the seventh day of the agitation, were demanding a complete rollback of the proposed 27.5 per cent quota for OBCs in elite educational institutions and a review of the existing reservation policy.

Meanwhile, the government committee dealing with the issue will submit its report to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh later in the day amidst indications that they favour increasing the number of seats in a phased manner.

On Thursday, during their meeting with Union Minister Oscar Fernandes, the students rejected the Centre's proposal for increasing the seats in general category and demanded a complete rollback of the OBC quota proposal.

The Delhi government has deployed Army doctors in the state-run hospitals where medical services were badly hit during the anti-quota stir.

BJP MP Navjot Singh Sidhu and motivational guru Shiv Khera were also participating in the rally.

The students emphasised that the march should be peaceful in the backdrop of violence in Patna and Mumbai. Police have made tight security measures and deployed additional forces along the route.

Traffic movement along the route was normal.

Students have also formed human chain to remain in order and to prevent protestors spilling over the entire road disrupting traffic movement.

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