The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Anti-quota group to don official colour

New Delhi, June 11: Anti-reservation doctors and students plan to register themselves as a cooperative, institutionalising their agitation as they prepare for a long battle with the government starting next week.

Once it is registered under the Cooperative Act, 1964, the National Coordination Committee of the Youth for Equality can ensure transparency in its finances and regularly collect funds from sympathisers.

On June 20, the students and doctors plan to launch a “full-fledged assault” across the country on the government’s reservation policy.

“Once we are registered, there will be transparency in all financial dealings, such as the court fees, advocates’ fees, etc. We will maintain a white sheet of all accounts,” said AIIMS resident doctor Rahul Saxena.

“We plan to open a bank account in the name of the registered body, where all the funds collected will be kept,” added Vinod Patro, the senior resident doctor who led the AIIMS doctors’ protest against the Other Backward Classes quota in higher education.

The decision was taken after talks with members of the Indian Medical Association, which is registered under the Cooperative Act.

Patro said the move was necessary to fight a battle that he felt would be “long-drawn-out”. “We do not expect the government to accept our demands anytime soon. We are preparing for a long-drawn-out struggle,” he said.

Asked why they weren’t waiting for the report of the government’s oversight committee, set up under Congress leader Veerappa Moily to plan the implementation of the OBC quota, Patro said: “Doctors and students have no faith in the Moily committee. The government did not set up the committee we had asked for.”

The doctors had demanded a “non-political, non-parliamentary committee” to evaluate the government’s reservation policy.

Another reason for the hurry to register Youth for Equality is a fear that pro-reservation students might register themselves under the name.

The doctors and students said they would respect the Supreme Court’s orders not to disrupt public life when they launch the new wave of protests.

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