Published: 02nd October 2019
After 8 days, BHU students end strike after VC promises more loos, all-night reading room
The indefinite hunger strike started on September 24, and their outrage erupted once the fasting students' health deteriorated exponentially
The protesting students of Banaras Hindu University ended their eight-day-long hunger strike after Vice-Chancellor Dr Rakesh Bhatnagar accepted most of their terms after a meeting that lasted for two hours on October 1. The students had gheraoed the VC's residence from the afternoon and finally, a 10-member team got to meet him around 9 pm.
The VC has agreed to put up a reading room near the library from 11 pm to 8 am. Female students will also be able to avail the facility with proper permission from their respective hostels. "The VC also agreed to build a girls washroom wherever required. A canteen will be built in all the girls' hostels. All the books in the library will be updated by recommissioning. Facilities will be arranged for disabled students," said Anupam, the Secretary of BCM. "Sanitary vending machines will also be installed on the campus. A hostel has to be built for girls in social sciences, one for female research scholars and another for commerce students. Mikes, he promised, will be installed in classrooms of more than 100 capacity," he added.
The indefinite hunger strike led by the students of Bhagat Singh Chatra Morcha (BCM) has been going on since September 24, and the students' outrage erupted once the fasting students' health deteriorated exponentially. "The students decided to protest against the insensitive and dictatorial attitude of the university administration in the afternoon by taking out a procession in the entire campus that would finally reach the Vice-Chancellor's residence. We decided to continue our hunger strike in front of his residence," said Anupam. As the procession was about to start, Chief Proctor Dr OP Rai called a heavy police force and allegedly tried to stop the procession.
The students clashed with police and the Chief Proctor but were eventually able to take proceed with the procession and went on to surround the VC's residence. Viswanath, the Vice-President of BCM and one of the students who were fasting amidst heavy slogans and speeches at the VC's residence, fainted there. After which he was immediately admitted to the emergency medical room of SIR Sundarlal Hospital at BHU. "Soon after Vishwanath, another fasting student, Shashikant, was also admitted there. This fuelled the students' outrage and finally, Dr Bhatnagar invited the delegation of 10 students for a meeting," said Anupam. "The delegation led by Aakansha included Nitish, Shaily, Ayushi, Deepak, Ravindra, Vivek, Arjun, Ashutosh and Ranjan," he added.