Junior doctors call off anti-quota strike, stir to continue

Junior doctors call off anti-quota strike, stir to continue
New Delhi, May 31 (PTI) Resident doctors of five premier medical colleges and state-run hospitals in Delhi tonight called off their 20-day-long anti-quota strike and decided to resume duties immediately in the wake of a Supreme Court warning to end the stir in the interest of patients.

Students of four medical colleges have also decided to end their strike and attend classes from tomorrow, but vowed to continue the agitation against "caste-based reservations in educational insitutions" under the banner of "Youth for Equality" "We welcome the pro-active judgement by the Supreme Court and reaffirm our full faith in the judiciary. The RDAs of AIIMS, Vardhman Mahanveer Medical College, Lady Hardinge, Ram Manohar Lohia, MAMC, Deen Dayal Upadhyay and IHBAS hereby resume duties with immediate effect in the interest patients care," AIIMS RDA President Vinod Patra told newsmen.

However, students from University College of Medical Sciences, IIT Delhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and Delhi University will continue the stir and are planning to make North Campus of DU the centre of the anti-quota protests.

The junior doctors of University College of Medical Sciences and G B Pant hospital also decided to end the strike.

The decision was taken at a two-hour stormy meeting of General Body of Resident Doctors' Association of Delhi, hours after the Supreme Court ordered the doctors to go back to work in the interest of patients.

The RDA meeting was marked by sharp difference of opinion among resident doctors on the issue of withdrawing the strike before a decision was taken by majority vote, sources said.

However, Patra said, the movement by 'Youth for Equality', an organization of medical students spearheading the anti-quota stir, will continue and grow from strength to strength.

The Youth for Equality has formed a National Coordination Committee to organise protests across the country to keep the anti-reservation campaign alive.

Resident Welfare Associations and traders have decided to join the non-medical students, who are continuing the stir.

Noting that the apex court's "signal judgement" has reconfirmed their confidence in the judicial process, Patro said the Supreme court has allayed their fears regarding "vindictiveness" of the government.

Lashing out at the government, he said "the minions of the government were threatening us with dire consequences and indeed notices were issued to various doctors".

"This was felt to be a dire portent of things to come. The court's opinion in this matter is welcome," he added.

He said with this verdict, the Supreme Court has reaffirmed its leading position in evolving a national consensus on the vexed reservation issue.

Medical students had begun the stir on April 26, seeking complete rollback of the OBC quota proposals but later scaled down their demands to setting up of an expert committee to review the reservation policy and an assurance on increasing the number of seats for the general category to offset the present and future quotas.

After the striking medicos held several rounds of talks with the government, including with the President and the Prime Minister, the Centre had given a written assurance that the total number of seats available in state-run medical institutions for non-reserved category will not be reduced.

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