Kolkata, July 21 : Students of the 183-year-old Medical College and Hospital, Kolkata - on hunger strike since July 10 seeking accommodation in a new hostel - on Saturday found support from thespian Soumitra Chatterjee, who condemned the authorities for turning a deaf ear to their demands.
"The students are on hunger strike demanding hostel accommodation and nobody is paying any heed. This is a sheer inhuman act. Can this be accepted in a civilised, democratic country?" exclaimed Chatterjee.
"For fulfilling their basic demands, students have had to go as far as a hunger strike and still no one is listening. I strongly condemn it and find it extremely insensitive," said the legendary actor.
A few doctors, including some alumni of the medical college - one of the oldest in Asia - visited the students to show solidarity.
First-year MBBS students have been allotted beds in a new hostel building this year. Senior students have been protesting since June 24, alleging their existing hostel was in a deplorable state and, as such, they be accommodated in the new hostel.
"We have faced cave-ins and mere repairs cannot help. We stay there at great risk," said a final-year student and one of the protesters.
The protesting students alleged that the authorities had only promised to repair the old hostel and declined to accommodate them in the new building.
The students, who had been demonstrating earlier, resorted to the "indefinite hunger strike" after the authorities called in police in the campus.
The authorities have expressed their inability to house the senior students in the new hostel building citing a Medical Council of India rule that prevents the entry of senior students into a hostel where freshers are staying to prevent ragging.