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CMCH students vow to continue hunger strike

Statesman News Service | Kolkata |


The students of Calcutta Medical College and Hospital who are on a hunger strike for an indefinite period have started falling ill from on Saturday. The students on Saturday completed 100 hours of fasting, which began on Tuesday.

Apan Samanta, who was critically ill, had to be shifted to the hospital’s emergency section as his pulse went down to 44 and blood pressure was 88/46 around 2.30 p.m. on Saturday. “I am getting admitted but won’t eat anything except liquid glucose. This hunger strike won’t stop till CMCH authorities accept our demands,” said Samanta while he was being admitted.

Soumyadeep Ray of third year collapsed in the bathroom and vomited even as his pulse dropped to 42 and blood pressure was 90/62 around 5.30 p.m. on Saturday. Later, he was also hospitalised. Aniket Chatterjee, a final year student, has also fallen ill.

The college had set up a medical board for the hunger striking students. It was, however, nowhere when the students needed medical attention.

On the fifth day of the hunger strike, all the boys were seen needing physical support. Two more boys ~ Hillol Arji and Debasis Barman ~ joined the fast along with the six boys who started the hunger strike on Tuesday.

While talking to The Statesman, the principal of CMCH, Dr Uchhal Kumar Bhadra, said: “CMCH is not run by me. All the decisions regarding the medical college are taken by the college council board.

Therefore, it is not justifiable to make me a villain for not providing hostel accommodation.”

Dr Bhadra said he is thinking of talking to the families of the students who are on hunger strike. The principal is asking for some more time to provide hostel accommodation for the senior boys. “They are not willing to listen and wait for the authorities to take a decision,” added Dr Bhadra.

About 20 policemen in civil clothes came to CMCH around 7 p.m. “We fear the policemen would try to lift the hunger strike forcibly,” said a final year MBBS student, Sayantan Mukhuty.