The nine All India Students’ Federation (AISF) members on Sunday called off their indefinite hunger strike at Patna University following the authorities’ promise of “wider consultation” of their demands.
The fast-unto-death movement paralysed academic activities at the college and administrative activities at the university’s main campus.
The nine students were on hunger strike since August 7 in support of their various demands, including allotment of hostels at Patna College according to the old format, removal of Patna College principal Lalkeshwar Prasad Singh and withdrawal of cases lodged against students by the university.
Patna University proctor Kriteshwar Prasad said: “The strike was called off after the university officials and students agreed to a wider consultation on the issues. Representatives from all students’ unions and teachers will sit for a dialogue in the last week of August.”
Sushil Kumar, an AISF member, said: “The university authorities gave an assurance in writing that there will be wider consultation with students on the issue of allotment of hostel seats at Patna College. They also assured us of withdrawing cases lodged against students.”
Sources said the university was trying to invite students’ leaders from all organisations such as the NSUI, the ABVP, the Chhatra RJD, the Chhatra JD(U), the LJP, the AISA, the NCP and the AISF so that there was wider consultation on the issue.
A senior university official, who did not want to be named, said: “The university is in no mood to bow down before the AISF’s demands this time but wanted an amicable solution to the issue of seat allotment at hostel, which is acceptable to all the unions.”
The hunger strike by the AISF created tension at the university with the union staging violent protest not only on the campus but also on the city roads.
The students staged roadblocks at Dakbungalow roundabout on Saturday afternoon and Ashok Rajpath last Tuesday, disrupting traffic for hours. They also ransacked the university building, broke doors and windowpanes and disconnected telephone lines in protest against the non-fulfilment of their demands.