Published: 09th February 2022
Breaking: After crippling protests, Delhi University to reopen for all courses, all semesters from February 17
Student organisations and teachers associations had intensified their protests for reopening the campus this week. The announcement was made by the Registrar
Delhi University will reopen completely for all courses, from February 17, announced the Registrar of the varsity, Rajni Abbi on the afternoon of Wednesday, February 9. This was after students across organisations intensified their protests demanding the reopening of campus.
The date was announced verbally, and the Registrar also sent a letter to the DU Students' Union, which had given the varsity an ultimatum of 3 pm today to reopen the campus, and had commenced an indefinite hunger strike yesterday, on February 8. The students had also threatened to lock down the campus if their demands were not met. While the letter did not mention the date, the Registrar assured the students that the varsity will reopen "very soon" and an official announcement on the website will be made by the evening.
"We have been fighting in the interest of the students for the last two years and finally, the administration has bowed down to our demands, and the students have won. They have given us the assurance that they will reopen the campus soon, and have given a letter to the DUSU president," said Akshit Dahiya, President of the Delhi University Students Union (DUSU).
"We have received verbal confirmation from the Registrar that an official announcement will be made and DU will be reopened from February 17 for all courses and semesters. We have called off our hunger strike, and celebrations are in order," added ABVP's National Media Coordinator and Delhi Province Minister Siddharth Yadav.
Apart from the ABVP-led DUSU, left-leaning organisations led by the SFI had started protesting from February 7. They gheraoed the Vice-Chancellor's office where they were allegedly harassed. On February 8, Kamal Tiwaree, a first-year student of MA Buddhist Studies at the University of Delhi tried to set himself on fire during the protests. Delhi Police took him into custody shortly.
The SFI also organised classes on the road — Sadak pe Kaksha — on February 9 where Dr Abha Dev Habib conducted a session. the students said that this was organised "to display how desperately students and teachers are wanting to take offline classes".
"The DU Proctor has announced that DU will reopen on 17th Feb. If they won't release the official notification by the evening as they announced, SFI will continue our struggle for the reopening of the campus," said Sumit Kataria, President of the Student Federation of India's Delhi State Committee.
Delhi University has been shut since the second wave started last year. Protests to reopen the varsity had taken the campus by storm in December 2021 as well. However, Delhi's pollution, and the onset of the third wave of the pandemic put a stopper on those. With cases abating and COVID-restrictions relaxing, students started demanding the reopening of campus again this month.