AIIMS students to resume agitation if demands not met

March 10th, 2012 - 8:21 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, March 10 (IANS) A day after suspending their relay hunger strike to demand a judicial inquiry into the suicide of an undergraduate student at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) here, the students association Saturday said they will resume the stir if the probe is not ordered.

“As of now we have just suspended our strike. If a judicial inquiry is not ordered into the suicide, we will go on strike again,” Mahendra Meena from the students’ union told IANS.

The students had been agitating after 22-year-old Anil Meena from Rajasthan’s Baran district was found hanging from a ceiling fan in his hostel room. While no suicide note was recovered, police officials said Meena was struggling to cope with the strict study pattern of the institute.

Meena, a farmer’s son, had failed in the first year exam as well as the internal examination. After Meena’s death, undergraduate students raised a furore over the institute’s mentoring mechanism for undergraduate students.

The students are now trying to fix an appointment with Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, also the president of AIIMS.

The students union also alleges that the examination rules were changed after Meena sat for the last exam, due to which his performance deteriorated.

While students claim weightage of internal exams was raised to 50 percent from 25 percent leading to Anil failing in supplementary exams, the institution failed to provide any mechanism for non-English language-knowing students to cope with the heavy syllabus largely taught in English.

“We have documents to prove that some exam assessment rules were changed after Meena sat for the exam. This unprecedented change put him under stress as his performance deteriorated,” the students union member added.

AIIMS director R.C. Deka had once again appointed former University Grants Commission chief Sukhdev Thorat to probe the alleged discrimination against Meena, who was from the reserved category.

A three-member committee, headed by Thorat, was constituted by the central government in 2007 to look into allegations of caste-based discrimination at the premier hospital.

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