Published: 26th March 2019
Pondicherry University says the strike is over. Unions say they're still protesting
PU says that the stir is over since students have agreed to put their demands to the VC in a written referendum. The Students' Council is singing another tune altogether
A day after students of Pondicherry University staged a massive protest against the fee hike, the University called the Students' Union for a parley and said that things have been sorted out and that the strike was over. "The student agitation is called off," said an official note from the varsity.
Except, members of student unions like the SFI, ASA and NSUI — who are part of the Joint Action Committee — have stated on record that things won't be sorted till the 125% fee hike had been rolled back. "The protest is not over. We will have a massive strike this Friday, but in such a way that classes are not affected. If the fee hike is not rolled back, we will intensify the strike and ensure that classes do not happen next academic year," said a senior student unionist in the think of things.
After sending a note that the students had effectively gone renegade and refused to meet with them and sort the issue out, the PU administration did a U-turn and said that they had met in the afternoon after all, "The University Authorities had a detailed discussion with the Students Council office bearers and students representatives at 3.30 pm in the Council Hall of Pondicherry University. After the detailed deliberations, it has been decided to consider placing of all the demands of the students before the Vice–Chancellor and relevant bodies of the University for necessary action," read the statement from the varsity.
Sources have said that Students' Council members are addressing the JAC to relay what happened in the meeting and find some consensus on what needs to be done next. However, it appears clear that students will return to classes for now — while participating in relay strikes and token protests from time to time.
While the varsity has been in the eye of the storm with the impending fee hike, student unionists have been going hammer and tongs at them for years now — dating back to criminal proceedings against former VCs.