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Protest over closure of institute

Cuttack, Nov. 21: The demand to reopen a local Sanskrit college named after former chief minister Harekrushna Mahatab found its echo at Press Chhak here today.

A few intellectuals of the city raised the demand today as a literary association also functioning on the same campus has kept the Harekrushna Mahatab Adarsh Sanskrit Mahavidyalaya locked since September 25.

The association, Prajatantra Prachar Samiti, cited that dispute over the college land and unsafe condition of the building for keeping it closed.

“It has been two months since the college was locked following a controversy. We urge the district administration to take steps so that the college opens as soon as possible,” said Gyanaguru Das, secretary of Rastriya Mahatab Sevadal.

Das alleged that BJD MP Bhatruhari Mahatab, who is also the chairman of literary association, had locked the college claiming that its building had become unsafe. The Samiti is also claiming ownership of the land where the Sanskrit college has come up.

About 150 students, who had enrolled for Upshastri ad Shastri courses there, are now facing an uncertain future because of the ongoing controversy.

“We are not aware when our classes would resume. The college authorities are also silent on the issue. It is disappointing,” said a student.

Bhatruhari Mahatab had earlier told The Telegraph that a notice was served on the college authorities to vacate its 200-year-old building for repairs as it was on the verge of collapse.

An official in the district administration said that after the controversy, the college authorities had earlier been asked to submit relevant documents regarding any agreement of lease or rent signed with the Samiti.

The college authorities, however, could not produce any document yet.

“We are planning to relocate the Sanskrit college near Town Hall from where it had first started. We have already requested the Cuttack Municipal Corporation to take necessary action,” said district sub-collector J.P. Das.