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Presidency University VC Lohia meets students to call off their indefinite sit

Lohia urged the students to call off their indefinite sit-in saying it was putting lots of strain on the students themselves and the university's normal functioning.


PTI 08 Aug 2018, 03:25 PM India

Presidency University Vice-Chancellor Anuradha Lohia today met the agitating students for the second time in three days, while students vowed to continue their five-day-old stir for immediate accommodation to an old hostel building under renovation.

Lohia urged the students to call off their indefinite sit-in saying it was putting lots of strain on the students themselves and the university's normal functioning.

A university spokesman said Lohia accompanied by Registrar Debajyoti Konar, met the 50-odd students agitating on a corridor of the first floor of the building.

The VC promised them that renovation work for the six blocks of old Hindu Hostel will be completed after five months and the blocks will be thrown open for boarders once the PWD gave clearance, the spokesman said.

"As I told you on Monday, the hostel cannot be declared fit for use unless the PWD completes work. Please cooperate with us," the spokesman said quoting the VC. Ayan Chakraborty, one agitating student, said "It is better to stay at the university campus and attend classes.

We are not obstructing anyone." The students have brought pillows and mattress and were taking bath in the campus turning it into a hostel.

The students demand that they are allocated rooms in the Hindu Hostel, which is under renovation since 2015. The Hindu Hostel, adjoining the College Street institution, had been shut down for repairs on July 29, 2015, and 150 borders were shifted to a rented accommodation at New Town, which is around 18 km from the university.

"How will the boarders commute from at Rajarhat to the College Street campus which takes over two hours?" asked Chakraborty.

He said the VC told the students they can forcibly occupy the two blocks of the under-renovation building as they were claiming repair work was almost complete in two of its six blocks but the university was in no position to formally declare these two blocks fit for use.

"We will not occupy the Hindu hostel on our own. We will do so only when the authorities formally ask us to move into the hostel," said the leader of Independent Consolidation, a students' organization.

He said members of the SFI and other boarders not directly attached to any union were also taking part in the sit-in since 2 pm on August 3.

Yesterday, West Bengal Education Minister Partha Chatterjee urged the agitating students to call off their sit-in and said work for renovation of the old hostel building should have been completed on time.

The Presidency authorities had last year assured the students that all the six blocks of the hostel would be opened for the borders after completion of renovation work by the first week of August.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


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