Published: 16th February 2019
CUTN protest: Students hospitalised after a hunger strike over dismissal of 2 teachers continues
The students of the Central University of Tamil Nadu began a hunger strike on Friday, after the dismissal of two teachers
It's been close to 48 hours since the students of the Central University of Tamil Nadu have been protesting. While the student turnout was good on day one and the despite political and departmental differences, everyone came together to fight for a cause - revoke the dismissal of two guest faculty, the situation was different on the second day. Two students were hospitalised because of health issues. On top of that, many withdrew their support from the strike, as the university administration threatened them of reducing their internal assessment marks and called their parents.
The strike began on February 15, after two faculty members from the English department, S Sharanya and A Azhiarasi, who were also the women's hostel wardens were dismissed without any prior notice. The students allege that the administration stated that the teachers let a student inside the hostel after the curfew hours and this issue was used against them by the chief warden and the proctor who held personal grudges against them. "The complaint was that as resident wardens, they were not strict with their wards and hence their wards came late to the hostel. When both of them tried to give their explanations, they were not given any space to do so. They were constantly interrupted, taunted and finally yelled at," a statement by the students read. When the administration went ahead with new recruitments and refused to meet the students, the latter began the strike in the university premises.
But the situation started worsening on Saturday. While two of them were hospitalised, a few were threatened by the faculty. "It is an atmosphere of fear that exists here," said Mira*, an MA Literature student. "Our friends are summoned and were informed that their internal marks will be cut off and their character certificates won't be signed," she added.
The protestors were addressed by the registrar on Friday, who informed them that the Vice Chancellor will meet them on Monday and asked them to withdraw the strike. "The registrar herself can resolve the situation. We won't back off from the strike until the new recruitments are frozen," said Mira.
We tried reaching out to the Chief Warden and the Proctor, but they weren't available for comment.
*Name changed to protect identity