Four MLAs of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, including the Leader of Opposition R Siva, were among the 500 party members arrested during a protest in Puducherry against the alleged imposition of Hindi at the Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research, or JIPMER, The Hindu reported.

The DMK leaders held the protest after a circular the JIPMER administration issued a circular asking that entries in all register and service books should be made in Hindi and English.

The medical college is administered by the Central government.

“The subjects and the headings of the columns in all the registers/service books/service accounts, used in the office will be written in Hindi and English,” the circular stated, according to The Hindu. “In future, entries in all the registers/service books/service accounts will be made as far as possible in Hindi only.”

A spokesperson of the medical college said that the circular was issued as per the directions of the Parliamentary Committee on Official Language.

“The institute has been asked to comply for a proposed inspection to be carried out soon,” the spokesperson said. “JIPMER does not have a say in this, and is only implementing the directive.”

During Monday’s protest, Siva alleged that the medical college had earlier denied job opportunities to the locals and that the circular was another blow to them.

He also alleged that the college has turned into “a haven of the RSS [Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh]” and demanded that the circular should be withdrawn unconditionally,” Siva said, according to PTI.

Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry Tamilisai Soundararajan visited the medical college and held a discussion with the institute’s Director Rakesh Aggarwal.

“There is a specific circular that Tamil should be given priority particularly in all communications relating to the patients and services to the people in the institute,” she said. “There is no imposition of Hindi in any manner”