After 17 days of college lock down, the homeopathy students of Swahid Jadav Nath Homeopathic Medical College & Hospital in the city have temporarily called off their indefinite protest on March 20.
The students decided to end the strike for the time being after the government agreed to hold talks with them on their demands during the first week of April.
At least 300 current as well as former students participated in the protests. Apart from Guwahati, the students of other two homeopathy medical colleges of the state in Jorhat and Nagaon had also joined in the protest at their respective colleges.
The agitating students had locked down the main gate of the three college buildings and had been conducting an indefinite dharna in front of the gate against the government for their long pending demands.
“We are hoping for a positive outcome from our meeting with officials from the health department. However, if the result is not favourable, we will be compelled to continue and intensify our protests after the talks,” Anichur Rahman, general secretary of All Assam Homeopathy Medical College Students’ Union (AAHMCSU) informed G Plus.
On the invitation of the government, representatives from the student bodies held a meeting with officials from directorate of AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy). In the meeting chaired by deputy director, AYUSH, Dr D Bhattacharya, it was decided to temporarily suspend the lockdown of colleges on the assurance of a meeting with the government to discuss the demands of the students.
The protests were triggered after state health and family welfare minister, Himanta Biswa Sarma, remarked that homeopathic doctors are not appointed in government health centres owing to a lack of demand by the public.
Students strongly condemned the remark and held a demonstration at Dispur Last Gate from February 26 to 28.
Here, the police allegedly resorted to lathi charge on the protesters in which some of the students were also injured, informed students. Following this, the students locked down the college gates and began the indefinite dharna.
As a result of the lockdown, the OPD services in all the three colleges also remained affected and patients had to return without any treatment.
Dr Mufuzur Rahman, secretary of the All Assam Homeopathic Doctors’ Association informed that the protestors ended the lockdown of the college keeping in mind the troubles of the patients.
“The number of patients was increasing day by day and many even came from far off places for treatment. We decided that the patients should not suffer and should not be deprived from receiving medical services due to the protest,” he added.
The students have also warned of intensifying their protests if an amicable solution is not provided for their issues during their talks with the government.