Medical College Hospital (MCH) students withdrew their 12-day-long fast unto death agitation on Monday evening and announced that they would conduct students’ union elections at the MCH campus on 22 December.
Six students with support of their mates had started the fast unto death protest on and from 8 December demanding students’ union elections on 22 December, as decided earlier by the college council. Students brought out a procession in the city this afternoon in protest against the MCH’s authorities reluctance to hold elections.
Several prominent members of the civil society Dr Binayak Sen, professor Ambikesh Mahapatra and members of the Doctors’ Forum expressing their solidarity to the movementparticipated in the protest rally. The six students withdrew fast later in the evening after accepting fruit juice from Dr Sen. One agitating medical student Aniket Kar, “In order to restore democratic environment inside the college campus the elections would be conducted on 22 December by us, not by the college authorities who do not want our union elections.” Some members of the college council headed by the principal Dr I Biswas felt that there would be no legal validity if the students conduct elections without getting clearance from the health department.
Holding of students’ union elections regularly in any college or university is important to take up different issues related to students, Aniket said. Earlier, around 100 students had gheraoed the principal, senior doctors including heads of different departments and nurses at the MCH, oldest government teaching hospital in Asia, for more than 34 hours since 6 December demanding the elections.