Published: 23rd September 2023
After meeting with director, NIT Silchar students call off indefinite hunger strike
The director offered fruit juice to the students to end the hunger strike which was launched by the students on Sunday
The indefinite hunger strike by students of the National Institute of Technology (NIT) Silchar, Assam in protest against the alleged suicide of a third-year student was called off following discussions with the institute Director Dilip Kumar Baidya, an official said today, September 23, as stated in a report by PTI.
The director, who had met the agitating students for the first time on September 22 afternoon, met them again at night and assured them that the Dean of Academics BK Roy would be removed from the post, following which the strike was called off by the students. Following this, the director offered fruit juice to the students to end the hunger strike which was launched by the students on Sunday and 10 students were hospitalised while one was critical.
Speaking on this, a student Rishi Kant said, "The director apologised to us with folded hands and he is like our father. We trust him and respect his assurances, so we are calling off the agitation." Adding more, Kant added, "The director has assured us that the dean academics will be removed within two days."
He (director) also assured the students that the agitation period would not be counted in the academic calendar and none of them would be marked absent, Kant said. Baidya had met the students for the first time on Friday afternoon but the students said that they would call off the strike only if they received written assurance from the authorities.
Later in the night they, however, agreed to call off the agitation as the entire discussion was video recorded. "The director told us that they want to start anew, leaving behind all the issues of the past. They could have prevented violence by talking to the students on time. We don't want to pressurise, change has to come from both sides," Kant said. Additionally, he added, "The authorities can close the institute for an indefinite period if we continue with the agitation and we don't want that."
The students requested the director to conduct a condolence meeting for Koj Buker, a student hailing from Arunachal Pradesh who had allegedly died by suicide on September 15 in his hostel room. Baidya said that they wanted to conduct it on Friday but it was not possible due to protests and now it will be held on Monday on the campus.
Registrar KL Baishnab has also issued a notice appealing to the students to call off the hunger strike. A notice issued by the registrar on Friday appealed to the students to call off all agitation and resume classes as well as other academic activities so that the academic environment of the institute is maintained.
To recall, the students had also written to President Droupadi Murmu demanding that the college administration should lodge an FIR to ensure a proper investigation into the alleged suicide of the student whose family should also be extended comprehensive support, including financial, legal, security and emotional support.
The students have been alleging that Roy had insulted the victim who got six backlogs in his first-semester examination, which was held in 2021 The students launched the protest on the night of September 15 and had allegedly vandalised the residence of the dean (academics), following which the police lathi-charged them and 40 students were injured.