Empty stomach, students demand rollback. Will authorities oblige them?
OT, September 26, 2012 15:46 IST
Okhla Times Campus Reporter/JMI
It is 11:30 PM on Wednesday and some 1,200 students of six hostels of Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) have not had their dinner. Furious over authorities’ move to hike mess fee once again, they have picketed peacefully outside the provost office on the campus.
Trouble started at about 8 PM when some students decided not to take their dinner in protest.
And slowly other students assembled and decision was taken on the spot to go on hunger strike, according to sources. This is turning out to be the biggest strike by students since Najeeb Jung took over the university as vice chancellor. The overwhelming turnout of students at the protesting spot just outside the provost office has certainly taken authorities off guard, who till now were able to control them by not holding students’ union election.
As students are protesting peacefully inside the campus, the authorities don’t know how to control them. Senior university officials were on the spot, according to protesting students.
The buzz on the campus is that JMI bulls and police in plainclothes are on the spot just waiting for authorities signal to silence protesting students, according to some students who don’t want to be identified for fear of retribution.
Now students are demanding a complete rollback. “Talks are going on with the proctor and students have put forward the demand of a rollback. Authorities have been told to stick to earlier mess fees of Rs 1,600. A few days ago Rs 200 was increased and then three days ago another Rs 200 increased making it Rs 2000,” said a protesting student, requesting anonymity.
All told tension has gripped the campus as gates have been closed, claimed a student. He said students have decided not to step back until the authorities roll back the hike. They are shouting anti-authorities slogans like Jamia administration down, down!
The prevailing situation has brought back old memories when a few years ago another vice chancellor had called police on the campus and many students were beaten up severely.
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