Nursing students’ stir takes new turn as seniors file FIR against juniors

Cuttack: Even as the meeting of the probe committee constituted by the authorities of the SCB Medical College and Hospital to resolve the ongoing agitation of the Nursing students began today in the presence of the Hospital Superintendent, Principal, Director, Nursing, Additional Secretary, Health, and Nursing faculties, the agitation took a new turn later in the day after some senior students filed an FIR at the Mangalabag police station alleging that they were beaten up by the junior students.

Police later registered a case against the junior Nursing students under section 343, 323 and 34 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Earlier in the day, tension prevailed in the Hospital after the hospital authorities locked the main gate of the Nursing School hostel just as the students were preparing to meet the hospital superintendent.

“The hospital authorities have asked the police not to open the main gate of the hostel. We have decided to demonstrate inside the hostel till our demands are met,” said Sabitri Majhi, a nursing student.

She also informed that during their meeting with the hospital superintendent yesterday, the Director, Nursing, present there, asked students to withdraw their agitation failing which he threatened to close the hostel for five months.

Meanwhile, supporting the ongoing agitation of the Nursing students, the All India Democratic Students’ Organisation (AIDSO) today staged a demonstration in front of the office of the SCB Superintendent. Briefing media persons, Ganesh Tripathy, vice president, AIDSO, Odisha unit, said an allegation has been levelled against the Nursing School principal for assaulting a student and using obscene language against her on May 7.

“Though five days have passed, the concerned authorities, who could have diffused the students’ unrest by taking appropriate action against the erring Principal, have not taken any steps till date. Protesting their inaction, AIDSO has supported the students’ agitation. We demand stern action against the Principal,” he said.

Condemning the repressive attitude of the hospital authorities, Tripathy said the authorities have confined the Nursing students to the hostel to suppress their agitation in gross violation of their human rights. He said the AIDSO will move the Odisha Human Rights Commission on this issue.

He also warned that the AIDSO would resort to a statewide agitation if the SCB authorities and the state government fail to give justice to the Nursing students and take action against the Principal within the next few days.

Condemning the high-handedness of the SCB authorities, particularly the Superintendent Shyam Sundar Das, a guardian told media persons that he and other parents who have come to meet their daughters are not being allowed to enter the hostel premises as its main gate has been locked by the order of the hospital authorities. The students are shouting slogans inside the hostel premises.

“The hospital authorities should take the allegations of the nursing students seriously and initiate disciplinary action against the concerned principal. In a democratic country, each person has to be given the opportunity to speak. Even a terrorist is also allowed to speak. On the contrary, the hospital authorities are trying to muzzle the voice of these nursing students by confining them inside their hostel and not allowing them to demonstrate outside. I am sure the SCB Superintendent is also involved in the incident and is trying his best to protect the erring Nursing School Principal. We the parents and guardians want that the concerned authorities should take urgent steps on this matter and restore normalcy,” he said.