India's Supreme Court has directed thousands of medical students and junior doctors to end their strike against an affirmative action plan or face contempt charges.
The strike is part of a protest against higher college quotas for lower castes. The strike has lasted more than two weeks and the court says it has caused enough suffering for patients.
Last month, the government said it would raise the number of seats reserved for lower castes at state-funded colleges from 22 to 49 percent.
The move sparked widespread protests, crippling services at many hospitals across the country.
On Monday, the court responded to a petition against the proposal and asked the government to explain its decision. The court appealed for an end to the strikes, but stoppages continued in several Indian cities on Tuesday.
Low caste activists say their communities need a helping hand to overcome centuries of inequality.
Paramashish Ghosh Roy has more on the story.