Published: 06th March 2020
Presidency students block Kolkata's College Street demanding to reopen the Hindu hostel
The students had started a sit-in protest at the intersection of Bidhan Sarani and Mahatma Gandhi road from Thursday evening, blocking the bustling arterial thoroughfare
College Street, Kolkata's educational hub, was under a blockade for 16 hours till Friday morning following a protest launched by Presidency University students pressing for a host of demands including reopening of the entire Hindu Hostel.
The students had started a sit-in protest at the intersection of Bidhan Sarani and Mahatma Gandhi road from Thursday evening, blocking the bustling arterial thoroughfare. The students agreed to relax the blockade on Mahatma Gandhi for an hour to facilitate movement of students following discussions with the police officiers. However, they continued to protest on Bidhan Sarani.
Inconvenienced by the blockade, a large number of office commuters demanded the protest be withdrawn and got into heated arguments with the students. The Presidency students have long been demanding reopening of ward numbers three, four and five of Hindu Hostel which has recently been repaired and renovated. They are also opposing the sacking of some mess staff and seeking formation of hostel welfare committee and an increase in male staff at the hostel.
Last month, the students had confined the vice chancellor Anuradha Lohia and other officials to their room for over 16 hours on the same demands. The Hindu Hostel was shut down for repairs in July, 2015, and around 150 boarders were shifted to a rented accommodation at New Town, which is quite far from the university and the administration failed in meeting several deadlines for completing the work.
Some of the floors were opened since 2018, but the students have been demanding the remaining three wards should also be opened to the students.