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Tech city joins chorus

Bangalore, May 14: The nation-wide quota protests spilled on to the streets of Bangalore today.

About 250 medical and engineering students, along with the alumni of Indian Institutes of Technology and Indian Institutes of Management who work in software companies here, responded to an SMS campaign, urging them to join the growing opposition against the proposed reservation for Other Backward Class students in education.

Yesterday saw the unrest spiralling out of Delhi and reaching Maharashtra, Bengal, Orissa, Gujarat and Punjab. Today, it was Karnataka’s turn to lend its lung power.

A large group of students congregated at Bangalore Medical College this morning, but police did not allow them to take out a rally to Raj Bhavan and instead asked them to move to Banappa Park. There, the students held placards and shouted slogans. They also condemned the police action against medical students in Delhi and Mumbai.

“This is the second time we are protesting. We will not let the issue die down,” warned Avinash Kumar, an intern.

Soon the crowd swelled with an older generation of working professionals joining the demonstration. “I am a middle-level manager and participated in the anti-Mandal stir in 1990. We are all against reservations and are ready to come out in support of merit students,” said an IIT alumnus, refusing to identify himself or the company he works for.

Unlike in other cities ' where mostly medical students have raised their voices ' in Bangalore, the quota cry has struck a chord among engineering students, too.

Kavitha K, Ajay Purohit and Amit from M.S. Ramaiah Engineering College said they decided to be part of the rally after reading today’s newspapers.

From Banappa Park, the students assembled in front of Mahatma Gandhi’s statue on M.G. Road. Here, five students were detained after a scuffle with the police. They were released later.

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