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CMCH students withdraw 14-day strike

Authorities allot two floors for senior students at new hostel till the underconstruction hostel building becomes habitable.

Statesman News Service | Kolkata |

The 14-day long impasse at Calcutta Medical College and Hospital (CMCH) ended on Monday, after the authorities agreed to allot two floors to the agitating students.

The decision was taken unanimously after a meeting of the college council held this morning attended by the acting principal, representatives of the Public Works Department, deputy superintendent, hostel superintendents, assistant superintendents and students’ representatives.

The notification read that the allotment would be made on a temporary basis and they would have to vacate the premises after the completion of the new building at Eden Hospital Road.

The students were also instructed to give it in writing that they would vacate the temporarily allotted floors after the new hostel becomes habitable.

Although no specific date for open counselling was announced on Monday, the students hoped that it will take place on 1 August, as was mentioned earlier by the authorities.

For supervision of the students at the new hostel, the authorities resolved to appoint a warden or a superintendent soon. However, further specifications on the name of the person and appointment date are yet to be announced.

Reportedly, the PWD representatives also agreed to renovate and repair the old hostel buildings on an emergency basis to make it habitable for the students.

The students’ demands were completely fulfilled as the CMCH authorities had earlier announced that the supervisor, Dr Partha Pratim Mondal, would be removed from the post. News of Dr Moloy Bera being appointed as the new superviser also circulated on the campus. An official statement on the issue is, however, yet to be made.

According to the students, the talks of allotment of the two floors to the senior students in the new building surfaced earlier also but an official announcement in the form of a written notification came only after today’s meeting.

Elaborating on the decision, Dr Ashok Bhadra said: “The decision has been taken in consultation with the government authorities who gave a nod to it without any objection. As the health services to the patients were being obstructed due to the agitation, the matter needed to be resolved with immediate effect.”

Expressing joy over the decision which came in favour of the students, an aspirant of third year said: “The victory is not of the students, but of democracy. We have made it clear to the authorities that issues of CMCH students cannot be politicised. We can give our life to fight for our rights.”

However, the joy of the agitating students turned into sorrow for the post-graduate interns who were asked to vacate one floor to accommodate the students of second to fourth year.

One of the post-graduate interns rued over the irregularities on the hostel allocation saying that to resolve one issue, creating another was unfair. To end the impasse, the female students were being sent to the old building without providing any details of their accommodation.

Speaking on the issue, a senior official of the medical college said that out of the two floors that were kept reserved for guests, one floor would be allotted to the post-graduate interns. He further claimed that the issue would be completely resolved after the completion of the new building in December.

On the campus, six students who were on a hunger strike for the past 14 days, have been prescribed immediate hospitalisation due to their declining health. While Debashish Barman, who was rushed to the hospital after suffering from rashes, has been discharged.

Unaware that the participants of a hunger strike at Calcutta Medical College and Hospital would be withdrawn in a few hours, Congress and Left Front MLAs trenchantly criticised the Trinamul Congress-run state government in the first half of the Assembly session for not taking any initiative to end the fast. They Opposition MLAs held placards and posters seeking a reply from chief minister Mamata Banerjee on the ongoing hunger strike.