“Resume class” slogan on lips, some students of Patna College have united to counter fellow protesters who are on a hunger strike since Tuesday.
Nine students of Patna College, including an AISF member, are on the hunger strike on Patna University main campus in support of their demands, including allotment of hostel seats at Patna College as per old format, removal of Patna College principal Lalkeshwar Prasad Singh and renovation of hostel premises.
While the university authorities were trying to deal strictly with the situation, a group of Patna College students met vice-chancellor Shambhu Nath Singh on Thursday apprising him of the disturbing academic atmosphere at the college.
Rakesh Kumar, a third-year history student of Patna College, told The Telegraph: “The academic atmosphere is getting hampered because of the protest by students who are opposing the college administration’s decision. In the last two weeks, classes were suspended as the students enter the classrooms disrupting teaching.” Rakesh added that only a handful of students, including some of his batchmates, are in favour of the protest.
Vice-chancellor Singh said: “If students do not end their hunger strike and continue with their protest we will initiate strict disciplinary action against them. We may call up parents of the students who are on the strike.” He added that the students on strike have been misguided by a students’ union that had developed a habit of creating problems on every issue.
In the last week of July, two groups of students clashed on the issue of allotment of seats in hostels where a third-year political science student, Shubham Kumar, sustained head injuries. The college sources said the two groups clashed with each other as one group was protesting the allotment of hostel seats according to batches while the other supported it.
Patna College had decided to allot seats in hostel according to batches to keep a tab on incidents of ragging on the hostel premises.
Randhir Kumar Singh, a teacher of Patna College, said: “The protesting students, carrying banners and sticks, enter classrooms disrupting lectures.” The teacher echoed the students who urged the college and university administration to take strict action against the protesters.
Another Patna College student, who does not want to be named, said: “Due to regular protests by some students, our classes are disrupted. We don’t understand the logic why some students are protesting against the new rule of hostel seats allotment.”
On the other hand, the hunger strike entered into the fourth day on Friday. Sushil Kumar, a member of AISF, who too is taking part in the strike, said: “The condition of many of us is critical but till now no university official has approached us to look into our grievances.”