Medical College Under Attack

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Dating back to 184 years, the oldest medical college of Asia, located in Kolkata is currently embroiled in nasty political game.

In spite of submitting repeated formal applications for the past three years, no counselling process was conducted resulting in no provision of accommodation in the Medical College hostel for 2nd, 3rd, and 4th year students. Students from Jalpaiguri, Malda, Raigunj, Bankura, Purulia, Dinajpur and other distant districts have not been allotted accommodation and their repeated applications were denied by the principal. However, some of the students from the batches of 4th year, and the final year were allotted accommodation to the main boys’ hostel through the last counselling process. In the unfortunate events of the false ceiling of the 5th floor boys’ hostel collapsing a few times, many of those residents were injured.

Meanwhile, we were notified by principal Uchhal Kumar Bhadra that, only newcomer first- year students will be allotted rooms in the newly built 11th floor hostel building which has enough rooms for all the students. Partha Pratim Mondal, an alumnus of the college is been appointed the superintendent of the new hostel. Incidentally, he is a student leader of TMC’s student wing, and has a steady history of political violence to his credit. While more than 100 students are helplessly awaiting, providing accommodation only to the newcomers in a separate hostel where they will be under the supervision of a notorious Trinamool leader seems nothing short of a vile strategy to produce new Trinamool cadres out of those students.

We, the students of the Medical College decided to sit-in with our demands in the Common Room with our luggage, beds and pillows. Even after sitting there for 80 hours till 5th of July, Principal showed utter negligence towards the harassment of the students with statements like, Do not bother me, I will not take any responsibility for you all, and also, I will not let you come near the first-year students. In a college which is well-reputed for its relationship among the senior and junior students, these kinds of irresponsible comments only become irrefutable proof of political interest.

Under these circumstances, we started our dharna peacefully in front of the Principal’s room on 5th July and let him know that he cannot ignore the justified demands of the students. The Medical College witnessed its darkest hour after this. At 8 PM, a group of 70-80 people combining police and antisocial elements entered the Administrative Block of the Medical College campus and attacked the students violently. They slapped, punched, and kicked us, pushed the physically challenged students to the ground, and abused one of our women colleagues. In their vicious effort to throw us out of the college building, approximately 20 students were injured, among whom 2 were critically wounded. The police then left with the Principal who had to have the students brutally abused with the help of the State machinery to crush their peaceful dharna, and their valid demands.

However, the Medical College will not let the dirty scheme of the Principal become a reality. The students of the Medical College are still fighting — with their demand to a transparent, and a neutral hostel counselling system. Our sit-in is still continued.

Our current demands are—

1. All those students of the 2nd year, 3rd year, and the 4th year who have not been allotted any accommodation, and those who are living in the older hostel risking their lives every day, will have to be accommodated in every hostel building (including the New Boys’ Hostel) according to their seniority and distance from home, based on a transparent, and a politically neutral hostel counselling process.

2. No MBBS alumni who is a TMC leader can be designated as the superintendent of the New Boys’ Hostel. Following the process similar to the other hostels, an Associate / Assistant professor or Head of the Department will have to be designated as the Hostel Super as per the MCI Regulations.

3. The Principal who is accountable for bringing in the police inside the college campus to beat up the students brutally will have to apologise and resign, effective immediately.

4. In the meeting of the College Council, all the valid and justified demands of the students will have to be discussed in a healthy environment, in the presence of the student representatives.

Students of the Medical College are fighting for their valid demand of an accommodation that they rightfully deserve. The more hours we’re siting-in, the audacity of the authority is increasing, and the severity of our movement is also gaining strength, and intensity. We WILL win this fight – for the sake of our college, for the future students of this college, and of course, for ourselves.

Stand beside us. Stand with us.

Aniket Chatterjee (Student)

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