Srinagar: The Government Dental College and Hospital authorities terming the ongoing student protest as ‘illegal’ has given a call to the striking students to report back on work and patient care or face consequences.
The students have been on an indefinite strike since Friday over the alleged slapping incident by the Head Orthodontics. They are demanding that he be removed from the post for his alleged misbehaviour. They are also demanding that a Students Union is constituted.
On Tuesday, the Administrative Officer of the college, Fahmida Jan in a statement said, “The law of the land does not in any way permit strike or suspension of work.”The ongoing strike, he said was “completely bad in the eyes of law”, which “makes the participants of the strike liable for legal consequences”.
Jan warned that those participating in strike henceforth would be “held responsible in case of any untoward incident or consequences”.“If anyone is found to have not attended their departments forthwith, appropriate necessary action under rules shall be initiated,” read the statement issued by him.
According to the statement, differences between the college and the students had already been amicably settled in a meeting between Secretary Health and Medical Education (H&ME) and the students. The statement claimed that the HOD in question “has apologized to his students.”
The principal of the college, Prof Riyaz Farooq, in a separate statement, asked the students to attend to patient needs by reporting back to their respective departments. “Any failure to attend the patients shall be viewed seriously as dereliction of duties and disobedience of instructions issued in this behalf”, his statement added.
The striking students, however, seemed firm on their decision to continue with their strike and told the Kashmir Monitor, “The law should apply to both the parties. It is surprising that they have termed our protest illegal. If anyone is wronged, there is every right for him to protest,” a protesting student, told the daily.
Emergency services at the dental college, according to this student have been going on uninterrupted.
“We have not stopped any patient from getting the treatment,” he said.
Remarking on the college posture that an apology had been rendered by the erring professor the student said “It is like committing a murder and then apologizing. If he has misbehaved, he should be taken to task.”
While another student participant revealed they had been allowed to hold peaceful protests by the sub-divisional magistrate. “When an SDM has given us a go-ahead, how can the college call our protests illegal?” he asked.
“The accused HoD denied having slapped a student, which he did. So, how does his apology work? He is trying to prove hundreds of students are lying?” the protesting student added.
“After harassing us, the college is now trying to harass our parents by calling them and writing letters to them, ” is another of the student’s grouse
“We fear that our parents would hit the roads now,” they said.
The students allege that the meeting of the students with Commissioner, Secretary Health and Medical Education has been quoted out of context as the official was there in connection with faculty recruitment interviews.
“He had not come for this purpose, but for interviews with lecturers.” “We are demanding an academically sound teacher for ourselves. It is not illegal as the college management is saying.”