Kolkata: Talks between authorities of the state-run Calcutta Medical College and Hospital (CMCH) and senior students over hostel facilities did not yield any result today, even as the indefinite hunger strike by six students entered the 10th day on Thursday.
Acting Principal R Sinha told representatives of the agitating students that he was in no position to accept their demand for allowing senior students to stay at a new hostel building, a hospital spokesman said.
The students of second, third and fourth year were on hunger strike outside the principal’s chamber to press for their demand for accommodation in the new hostel which is allotted only for first year students. Sayantan Mukhuti, one of the agitating seniors, said, “With the failure in today’s dialogue, we have no other option but to continue the fast.”
The senior students are demanding accommodation in the new hostel saying the condition of their old hostel building was very poor. Sinha, the head of the ENT department and acting principal, had yesterday met senior officials of state health department to discuss the situation, the spokesman said.
Sinha was discharging responsibilities of the principal after incumbent Uchhal Bhadra fell sick in his chamber on July 17 and was admitted to hospital and still under treatment. Bhadra had fallen sick on July 17 after meeting a delegation of students at his chamber and shifted to the SSKM hospital from the CMCH. He had developed symptoms such as high blood pressure.
Bhadra had told the delegation on that day that it was not possible for him to accept their demand because of Medical Council of India (MCI) rules that prohibit accommodating first year and senior students at the same hostel building to prevent incidents of ragging. However, he had said, the old hostels would be renovated.
Meanwhile, 15 students – including interns – joined the hunger strike by six fasting students since yesterday. On July 17, 20 former students had taken part in a token 24-hour fast to express support to the seniors’ demand.
The condition of the fasting students were monitored every hour by a medical board constituted by the CMCH. On July 5, the senior students had gheraoed the principal on the same demand. However, the gherao was withdrawn after the police were called in.