Homoeopathy students outside the East Singhbhum district collectorate on Thursday. Picture by Bhola Prasad
The teachers’ strike has halt ed classes at Sakchi-based Singhbhum Homoeopathic Medical College and Hospital, but aspiring medicos could not meet East Singhbhum deputy commissioner (DC), also the cradle’s chairman, on Thursday, to request his intervention because he was on poll duty.
Some 200 students, including girls, demonstrated outside district collectorate on Thursday when they were barred from meeting East Singhbhum DC Amitabh Kaushal.
“Our classes have been badly hit for the past fortnight as teachers have struck work to demand a hike in salary. When we approached the principal, he told us the matter was beyond his powers and advised us to meet the DC. But, we were not allowed to meet him as he is busy with election work,” third-year student Sanjay Rupanshu said.
He added that of the 24 faculty members at their college, 12 were on strike.
When all attempts to meet the DC were turned down, the delegation submitted its petition at the office.
Principal of the homoeopathic college Dr Kulwant Singh said the demands of the teachers could only be addressed at a governing body meeting, which was not possible if the the deputy commissioner was not present.
“The deputy commissioner is busy with election duties. Demands of teachers related to salary enhancement and promotions can only be decided in the presence of the deputy commissioner,” he added.
Singh said they tried to get an appointment with the DC many times. “But, he has said he is very preoccupied with poll-related duties,” he said.
DC Kaushal told The Telegraph that his first priority at present was to conduct the elections smoothly.
“The students had turned up at my office, but I was busy with scrutiny of nomination papers. I have received their petition and will look into it,” Kaushal added.
The homoeopathic college was established in 1953 and offers five and half-year BHMS course, with a year of mandatory internship training.
The course is recognised by Union health ministry, Central Council of Homoeopathy and state health department.