Fed up with the “arrogant” attitude of the authorities, the students of Calcutta Medical College and Hospital started a hunger strike on Tuesday for an indefinite period to protest against the principal’s alleged misrule.
“This is our college, if our principal thinks it’s his then he is wrong,” said a student, Tanay Mondal.
Altogether six students of CMCH sat on hunger strike from 1 p.m. onwards on Tuesday. The students rued that despite repeated pleas to the principal, he has refused to lend them his sympathetic ears.
“We will not let our principal’s sinister plans fructify in CMCH,” Mondal added. Placards bearing slogans ~“We want justification or principal’s resignation” ~ were displayed on the walls of the administrative building. The students fear that dirty politics is infesting CMCH.
“We will not let Trinamul’s hooliganism influence our college,” said a student. At the same time, three girl students of CMCH, including an intern in the 184-year-old reputed institution, have alleged molestation.
“I along with three other seniors were manhandled by the policemen during the scuffle on 5 July,” said the trainee. As per her version, the intoxicated policemen pulled her hand and touched her improperly.
“When we objected, the policemen said that they would continue touching us improperly if we do not stop our protest,” she added. Talking to The Statesman, principal Uchhal Bhadra on Tuesday said that he cannot provide accommodation to the senior boys in the new 11-storeyed hostel as it is for the first year students.
“According to MCI regulations, senior boys cannot live in the same hostel as first-years. I am just following the rules,” he said. He can only sit on hospital-related matters after 12 July when the admission procedure of first year students is over, he said.
“I have asked them to wait till 12 July but they refused to wait,” Dr Bhadra added. “The hostel problem has been there for years. I have just come here as the principal. Give me some time, I will solve the students’ problems,” Dr Bhadra added.
At the same time, he also feared that senior students are influencing the first year students. “First-years are young and can be easily influenced. We are trying to protect them from student politics so that they can be guided in the right way,” said Dr Bhadra.
Besides the first year students, he is planning to accommodate the post-graduate medicine students in the 11 storeyed building but not the undergraduate senior students.
He also denied accusation of assault on students by the police. “They are like my children. Why would I impose violence on them,” he added. According to him, it was just a minor scuffle where the students got hurt while the police were trying to rescue him from his office. “I have asked them not to go on hunger strike as it is not going to help in any way,” added the principal.