On the second day of their “indefinite” hunger strike at Calcutta Medical College demanding student council election, two college professors on Friday met the agitating medical students to persuade them to withdraw their strike but the protesters remained adamant on their demand, said college sources.
Principal Indranil Biswas held a meeting with the college council on Friday afternoon to find a solution, but the issue could not be resolved.
Meanwhile, several doctors’ organisations have also demanded the holding of the student council election at the medical college. The principal, however, said efforts were being made to resolve the issue through discussions but the agitating students were adamant about their demands.
The medical college authorities said the health department needed to take a firm decision as far as the election was concerned. The students, on the other hand, said that they would not call off the strike until their demands were met.
The College Council of Calcutta Medical College Hospital had announced the date for the student council election but later withdrew it.
Following this, on Monday, the students launched a protest and gheraoed the principal, heads of departments, superintendents, deputy superintendents and nursing superintendents that lasted for 34 hours till Wednesday morning, said sources.
Around 11:30 am on Thursday, five students led by a final year MBBS student went on a hunger strike near the principal’s office. The five students on hunger strike and others sitting around them were seen reading books, while their banners read “the principal and college authorities are responsible for any harm to their health”.
Speaking for the protesting students, final-year medical student Aniket Kar said, “It is out of desperation that such a decision has to be taken. We all have come to study and not to do politics. But these are minimum our demands.”
According to college sources, the diagnostic lab at the college remained shut for nearly four hours on Friday, following this, the principal formed a seven-member inquiry committee and sought a report within 72 hours.
A committee was also formed to look into complaints of the agitating students that a section of doctors misbehaved with them. “The college council has been informed about what has been happening. We are also informing the health department daily. Besides, our senior faculty members will interact with the students daily to avoid any problems. Regular student-teacher discussions can solve many problems.”
The hospital authorities, meanwhile, insisted that the solution could only be found through dialogues, so the protesting students should be open for dialogues.