Support has been pouring in for the students of the Fathima Institute of Medical Sciences (FIMS), who have been on a relay hunger strike at Dharna Chowk in Vijayawada.
The students – 99 of them – are looking at a bleak future as their college has been derecognised, and despite appeals, the concerned authorities haven’t relocated them in other medical colleges.
On Thursday, YSRCP president Jaganmohan Reddy interacted with some of the students in Yerraguntla in Kadapa, as he was undertaking his padayatra.
"Fatima students have been protesting in Vijayawada for the past ten days. No one from the government has come to their rescue. These students have met the Chief Minister five to six times, and each time he has given them false assurances," Jagan said.
"In order to favour the college management and honour deals fixed with private universities, Naidu's government has refused to forgo 100 seats in the next academic year as advised by the Supreme Court. The SC's judgement has obviously not been positive," he added.
"If Naidu has any humanity left in him, he should immediately act upon this issue," Jagan said.
Meanwhile, former MP Vundavalli Arun Kumar who was in Vijayawada, also visited the protest site.
“The future of the students is at stake. Everyone is given the impression that the problem has been resolved. I have been shown a video in which Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, at the time of the Nandyal byelection, assured the students that the problem would be resolved. But that does not seem to be the case. We will take it to its logical end,” he told mediapersons.
It all started in 2015, when the Medical Council of India (MCI) derecognised the institution before the academic year began. However, the FIMS management went to the Hyderabad High Court and were allowed to provisionally admit students.
On April 24, 2016, almost nine months into their course, the students got to know that their college was derecognised, and that their admissions were null and void.
The students were angry and upset at this development – and that’s when an alternate proposal was put on the table, supported by the Andhra government. According to the proposal, five students each from the FIMS 2015-16 batch would be relocated to 20 other medical colleges across the state.
However, the MCI did not agree with the proposal, and the case went to court. On October 27 this year, the Supreme Court dismissed a case filed by the Andhra Pradesh government on behalf of the students of FIMS.