52 students have been on hunger strike since Monday to draw the govt’s attention to their demands

For nearly 45 days now, the campus of Tamil Nadu Dr. MGR Medical University has been home for students of DD Medical College, Tiruvallur, seeking to continue their medical education.

Staging a sit-in protest on the campus since August 21, the students continued their fast on Tuesday demanding a meeting with the Chief Minister.

The Medical Council of India (MCI) had de-recognised the college in 2011 but the college had admitted students. The students said they had paid Rs. 8 lakh as fee per year and Rs. 20 to Rs. 30 lakh as capitation fee.

The students also appeared for the first-year examinations in August 2012 and downloaded the results from the university website. However, the university, stating they were a de-recognised batch, did not allow the students to appear for the supplementary exams.

The students had decided to go a fast from Monday to draw the government’s attention to their ongoing protest. “We want to meet the CM to put forward our plea to continue MBBS,” a student said.

Since then, the students have been staging several protests, and camping on the university campus. The police removed the students from the campus several times but they returned the following day.

A total of 52 students — 23 boys and 29 girls — along with some parents, are on fast.

“Nearly 10 days ago, we were called for a meeting with the health minister and health secretary. Vice-chancellors of the medical university, Anna University and Madras University were present. They told us they could split us into groups and provide admission in B.Pharmacy, engineering and arts and science courses in government colleges. But we told them that our dream was to become doctors and to complete MBBS,” the student said.

Students said as per the essentiality certificate for establishing a medical college, the State had the responsibility to take over a college, which had failed to create adequate infrastructure as per MCI norms.

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