Published: 12th March 2018
One year after Kejriwal promised campus, protesting Delhi professor Joshil Abraham suspended
After 25 days of hunger strike, Kejriwal promised Abraham a campus for his college. Now he says he made no such promise and the professor has been suspended
Just about a year ago, GB Pant Engineering College professor Joshil K Abraham went on a 25- day hunger strike to demand a campus for the college - after the students were forced to work out of a hostel building due to lack of infrastructure. Delhi CM Kejriwal visited the professor and asked him to call off his strike after promising swift action. A year later, Abraham has been suspended for going on the hunger strike. Worse still? Kejriwal claims now that he made no such promises. But Abraham has it on tape.
The professor has now on the fifth day of his second attempt at a hunger fast to demand a proper campus for the students of the college.
On April 4, Abraham started a hunger strike after the government had repeatedly turned down requests to address the issues the college was facing. Ever since it's establishment, the college has been functioning out of a hostel building as the government kept delaying construction plans. However, things began to go haywire, after another educational organisation, the Indraprastha Institute was allotted GB college's land and began to construct on the same. Through an RTI, Abraham and his students found out that the land had been encroached and illegally handed over to Indraprastha.
The video with CM Arvind Kejriwal with Joshil Abraham:
On April 29, Kejriwal met Abraham and promised to conduct an enquiry and ensure the 23 acres of land would be handed over to the rightful owners. A satisfied Abraham took his first sip of water in almost a month.
A few weeks later, when he didn't hear from the CM's office, Abraham tried to meet with Kejriwal and the CM denied making any such promises. "He said that the matter was upto the Lieutenant Governor and the issue did not involve him. He denied he made any promises and completely washed his hands off. But I have him making these promises to me on tape," Abraham said.
However, since the case was pending in court, he decided to wait for the verdict- the court in November as expected directed the government to intervene in the matter and ensure proper infrastructure was in place for the college. But no action was taken and shockingly, the college was issued a show cause notice directing them not to admit any students in the next academic year because of "lack of infrastructure".
A few days later, Abraham also received a suspension notice after being found guilty under three accounts- inciting students to protest, talking to the media and for going on the hunger strike. "I spoke to the LG as well, he agrees that the cause is important and he supports us but he also says I shouldn't have gone on the strike," Abraham explained.
A new principal has been appointed at the college and he has issued strict warnings to all the students to not indulge in any forms of protest, "Last time the students were able to participate but this time they have been silenced completely. They are fearful about the consequences even though some students and faculty still come and meet me." Abraham is already on the fifth day of his fast, he will take the protest in front of the CM's house in a day or two. "I might be on suspension but I will still do whatever it takes to get our college campus back," he said.