IISc scholars hold a hunger strike in solidarity with the research scholars arrested in Delhi

Clad in black, the scholars are on a 12-hour-long hunger strike. They are also holding a protest on the campus on Sunday 
The strike began at 8 in the morning (pic: Facebook/ IISc Students' Council)
The strike began at 8 in the morning (pic: Facebook/ IISc Students' Council)

More than 300 research scholars from the Indian Institute of Science Bangalore, are holding a 12-hour-long hunger strike in the campus, to express solidarity with the protesting researchers who were imprisoned in Delhi. Even though all of them made it a point to attend the classes and not delay their duties, none of them have had any food since morning.

The IISc scholars are also holding a protest outside the campus by forming a silent human chain on Sunday demanding a hike in the fellowship. "The hunger strike is in response to the arrest of our fellow researchers in Delhi. Also, we want to remind the government that its promise is not yet fulfilled. It's being delayed and there is no confirmation on when it will be executed," says Arvind Gupta, a research scholar, "The government is saying that it is in the final stage. But nothing is visible," he adds. 

"Researchers are supposed to be in the labs striding towards innovation and not at the doors of authorities adjuring for what is rightfully ours. Despite all the delays and repeated deceptive assurances, the students kept calm and went for a hunger strike and that too in the most democratically accepted way. But the government answered our pleas by filling the jails with the bright minds of the country," says an IISc Students' Council notice.

The researchers across the country have been protesting for over nine months now, since April 2018, asking a hike in the stipend. Even though they were promised a hike by Union Ministers Prakash Javadekar and Dr Harsh Vardhan, they're yet to receive an official notification on the same. 

To protest the same, the researchers across the country went on an indefinite hunger strike on January 16, following which 2,000 of them were arrested. The protestors are now planning to march through New Delhi's Rajpath on Republic Day. 

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