Published: 02nd March 2020
Five Pondy University students continue hunger strike against fee hike into the third day
Five students are on a hunger strike, two of whom are from the Students' Council. Except for two of the students having low sugar levels, the other three have not faced any health issue
The Pondicherry University students are on their third day of hunger strike against the fee hike imposed on them by the administration. The students had been continuously protesting for 20-odd days but since meetings with the administration did not yield any positive results, the students felt they had no other go other than to go on hunger strike.
Five students are on hunger strike, two of whom are from the Students' Council. Except for two of the students having low sugar levels, the other three are so far doing okay, health-wise, Council President, Parichay Yadav said. Last week, the students had their convocation with Vice President of India Venkaiah Naidu presiding. Despite heavy security, the students had carried on their protest, hoping that they could pressurise the institute to revoke the 200 percent fee hike. Instead though, the students were dragged away from the protest venue and detained in a hall in their campus for over 20 hours.
However, the University had said the police had 'neither arrested nor detained the students but that they had been taken to a different building and provided with all amenities'. "The students were treated with dignity and respect. The effort to settle this impasse shall continue in all sincerity," the University had said.
Soon after, the Council was hoping that the administration would offer the students a solution that was better than the previously offered 20 percent fee reduction for students from economically weaker sections. However, on February 28, the students were called in for a meeting with the same offer. "That's when we decided that we had no choice but to go on a hunger strike. This is the only way that they will listen to us. So far though, nobody has come forward to meet us," Parichay said.
However, one department has decided to boycott their classes and the hunger strike has led more students to join the protest. "We have almost 100 students here now who are participating. So the protest is growing and we hope the administration will come forward to listen to us. The last two days it was the weekend, but today is a working day, so we have been gaining support. Some faculty members too extended their solidarity to us," Yadav said.