Published: 03rd November 2020
ABVP activists go on indefinite hunger strike against Kejriwal's 'anti-student' policies
On November 2, a 150-strong rally started with the Chief Minister's residence as its destination but was cut short in front of the Vikas Bhavan where the police put up barricades
The Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) in one of its most intense protests in a while in the heart of the national capital, went on an indefinite hunger strike after two days of demonstration in front of the Vikas Bhavan. The student activists said that they are protesting the Delhi government's 'anti-student policies'. Their demands — reopening GB Pant Engineering College, cancellation of fee increase in colleges under the Kejriwal government, not using the Students' Society Funds (SSF) to pay off salaries and provide Corona relief packages to students.
"While the students have taken to the streets to save affordable education, the Chief Minister continues to remain safely ensconced in his palatial bungalow. The Delhi government has perpetrated an unprecedented assault on affordable higher education in the national capital. We are willing to brave the cold, go hungry and risk getting infected but we shall continue to oppose and fight against the Delhi government’s anti-student design to shut down the GB Pant Engineering College. The Delhi government did not even take cognisance of students’ grievances which the protestors were attempting to highlight through Twitter trends and other social media platforms as well. We have resolved to keep fighting until the Delhi government includes the institute in the counselling process for admission this year as well as satisfactorily addresses a host of other student-centric issues including fee-hikes in state government-run colleges and universities like IP, DTU and NSUT, appropriation of money from the Students Society Fund towards payment of salaries and Covid relief package for the needy students,” he added.
On November 2, a 150-strong rally started with the Chief Minister's residence as its destination but was cut short in front of the Vikas Bhavan where the police put up barricades. "We have been peacefully protesting here since then. We have had demonstrations and speeches while we maintained social distancing. We are also using sanitisers," said Siddharth Yadav, Delhi State Secretary, ABVP. "We were told at one point yesterday that the CM will meet us and we were ready with a four-member delegation. But later we got to know that the CM won't meet us but his Secretary will. We refused that offer because we were very clear that we will meet no one but the CM. We do not want to get caught up in the bureaucracy," he added.
After failed attempts to talk to the CM, the students decided not to vacate their protest ground. Around 25 students spent the night in front of the Vikas Bhavan. "Five of students of the GB Pant Engineering College — Harshit Kumar, Shubham Chandra Gautam, Rajat Kumar, Asif Alam and Deepanshu Sooryawanshi — have gone on indefinite hunger strike till our demands are addressed," said Siddharth.