Calcutta students’ hunger strike continues for 13th day


Kolkata, July 22 (IANS) The indefinite hunger strike by students of Calcutta Medical College and Hospital here entered the 13th day on Sunday even as authorities appealed to them to withdraw their agitation for hostel rooms.

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Members of civil society and student organisations gathered on the hospital premises to express solidarity with the agitators.

The students began their strike on July 10 after authorities at the 183-year-old state-run medical college notified that the new 11-storey hostel building would be allotted to freshers only.

The college administration on Sunday appealed to the students to withdraw their strike, saying that additional students will be accommodated in the new hostel building subject to approval from higher authorities.

In his written appeal, new Officiating Principal Ashok Bhadra informed the students about his Saturday meeting with Director of Medical Education (DME), student representatives and heads of different departments.

“There will be open and transparent counselling for hostel accommodation if the DME approves the request made to him in the meeting,” said Bhadra, who took over after R. Sinha resigned on Friday.

The agitating students, however, said that they will withdraw the strike only after receiving a written approval from the DME’s office.

Members of leftist Democratic Youth Federation of India and Students Federation of India held a convention on the campus to protest what they called the state government’s indifference on the issue.

“The Chief Minister is holding massive rallies in the heart of Kolkata but does not have time to meet striking students. How far is Esplanade from the Medical College?” CPI-M MP Mohammad Selim remarked.