Published: 04th March 2020
Five Pondicherry University students on hunger strike rushed to hospital, another 5 to replace them
The five students have been on hunger strike from the midnight of February 28 which makes this the fifth day
All five Pondicherry University students who were on a hunger strike were hospitalised on Wednesday afternoon after their health severely deteriorated. One student had given up on the strike last evening due to weakening health, while another fainted and was rushed to the hospital in the early afternoon. The remaining three also had to be hospitalised soon after. Five other students have replaced them and will launch another hunger strike, the Student Council said.
The five students have been on hunger strike from the midnight of February 28 which makes this the fifth day. Students have been protesting over the last 28 days against the University's fee hike. Last evening, Kumar, who is also a member of the Students Council had to give up om the strike as his health was severely deteriorating. Another student has taken Kumar's place and launched his hunger strike.
Around afternoon, Theertha Tulasi, a student of Integrated MSc Physics fainted in the admin building while she was on her way to the restroom. Parichay Yadav, the President of the Students Union said that she was shivering and they had to call for an ambulance to take her to the hospital. She was the youngest among the students who are on a hunger strike. The other three were also taken to the hospital for a check-up and were hospitalised immediately after.
The protesting students claimed that while in the last four days, the campus doctor was visiting the students and checking their vitals, no one had come to do a check-up today. The students say the administration has directed the doctor to not tend to the striking students," The Registrar had given strict directions to the Health Centre to deny regular check-up for our comrades on hunger strike. Therefore, medical attention from the HC was denied for our comrades from today," Parichay said.
Yesterday, the administration released an appeal to the students requesting them to call off the strike and explaining why it was not possible for them to reduce the fees. In response, the Student Council said that they will not be backing down and will stick to the struggle. The Council President said that four departments have been boycotting their classes — "Integrated Chemistry students joined us today but yesterday, MBA first-year students, MCom and MA English students have been supporting us by boycotting their classes. ABout 80-100 students have gathered for the protest today and some faculty members showed their support when we went to meet them personally," he said.
"We saw the circular yesterday but we are not backing out. We've been on strike for so many days, why has nobody from the administration come to address the gathering. We cannot accept the 20 percent hike and are willing to have dialogue again, but the administration is not accepting," he added.