Published: 10th March 2020
Pondy University students call off strike after 33 days as Madras HC asks them to stand down
The students had also launched a hunger strike ten days ago, five students who initially sat on the strike were rushed to hospital after five days
The protesting students of Pondicherry University have called off their protest and hunger strike following the Madras High Court's direction. The Registrar filed a writ petition at the Madras High Court against the protest, following which the Court advised the students to call off the strike in order to create a more conducive environment for deliberations with the administration.
The students had been protesting for the 33rd day continuously against the fee hike imposed by the university. They had also launched a hunger strike ten days ago, five students who initially sat on the strike were rushed to hospital after five days and another five students had replaced them. On March 9, the registrar-in-charge B Chitra approached the Madras High Court and filed a write petition against the protesters. "In course of hearing the petition, the Court has advised the students to withhold the strike in order to create a conducive environment for deliberations with the administration," the Student Council said.
"As per the advice of the court, the PU Council is ending the wait-and-sit protest and indefinite hunger strike forthwith," the Council has decided. The Council also urged the administration to find the root cause of their protest and not focus on the "means of their protest." They also claimed that it was the administration that had pushed them to take up this course of protest, "It was due to the administration's close-mindedness and indifference that we resorted to peaceful protests outside the administrative building. This means of protest was thrust upon us by the administration due to its intransigent attitude and it is not our own volition," they explained.
The administration had been sending appeals to the students to call off the strike and defended their position in the matter, claiming that they had held many meetings with the students regarding the matter. The Students' Council has asked that the administration engages with them with an 'open mind'.