| Central University of Bihar Struggling Committee members take out a rally in Gaya on Sunday. Picture by Suman |
A delegation from Gaya would meet Union human resource development (HRD) minister Kapil Sibal on Monday in support of having the Central University of Bihar in the district even as residents of Motihari paralysed train services on Sunday with the same demand .
Sources in a pressure group that was formed to step up the movement in favour of having the university in Gaya said an appointment has been fixed for a meeting between the 11-member team and Sibal at 5pm on Monday.
“The team would handover a 10-point memorandum to the Union minister,” said Vijay Kumar, convener of the pressure group called Central University of Bihar Struggling Committee. Jai Kumar Palit, the former president of Bihar Educational Development Soiciety, had sought an appointment with the HRD minister through a letter. “The minister’s office confirmed that Sibal has agreed to meet the delegate at 5pm on Monday,” he told The Telegraph. Patil, a former MLA, is among the 11 members who would meet Sibal.
Two processions were taken out in Gaya in support of the district’s claim to the central university. An all-party foot march was taken out from Mirza Ghalib College to Azad park, while the other procession started from Gandhi Chowk and terminated at the railway station via Tekari Road. Sibal has given a nod to the setting up of the university in Gaya. A 960-acre plot at old airport near Panchanpur village, at present under the possession of the defence ministry, has been identified for the institute. Chief minister Nitish Kumar is opposed to the Centre’s idea and has written a letter to Sibil, insisting that the university be set up in Motihari. Nitish has also written a letter to defence minister A.K. Antony, requesting him not to hand over the land for CUB.
On the other hand, train services were disrupted for about two hours at various stations along the Muzaffarpur-Narkatiaganj section of South Eastern Railway as members of the Mahatma Gandhi Kendriya Vishwavidyalaya Sangharsh Morcha stopped Muzaffarpur-New Delhi (12557 UP) Sapt Kranti Express at Bapudham Motihari station.
The agitation was part of a series of protests against Sibal’s decision to shift the university site from Motihari to Gaya. Muzaffarpur-Raxaul passenger train remained stranded in Motihari for about two hours, while Gorakhpur-Sonpur passenger train had to be halted at Sugauli. Trains such as Howrah-bound Raxaul-Howrah Mithila Express remained stranded in Muzaffarpur or Raxaul. The demonstrators pasted posters on the compartments of the New Delhi-bound trains, seeking the university in Motihari.
Deputy superintendent of police (Sadar) Sushant Kumar Saroj said the demonstration was “peaceful”. Train services resumed at 12noon.