| VC .K. Medhi talks to the protesters on the GU premises on Thursday. Picture by UB Photos |
Dec. 27: Clashes broke out between research scholars and workers of Gauhati University this morning during a demonstration organised by the scholars in front of the university’s administrative building gate.
Sources in the university said the incident took place when the research scholars, under the banner of the Gauhati University Research Scholars’ Association, tried to prevent the workers from entering the administrative building in an attempt to disrupt normal functioning of the university.
The research scholars protested against the university’s notice sent to the V. Venkata Rao Research Scholars Hostel yesterday, asking eight of its boarders to vacate the hostel as they had been staying there for four years.
Today, the demonstrators demanded the university administration to spell out clearly the time a research scholar could stay in a hostel. They argued that even a scholarship is provided for five years.
Vice-chancellor Okhil Kumar Medhi met the demonstrators and promised to hold a meeting tomorrow to solve their problems. He kept the notice in abeyance to bring the situation under control.
“For the time being, the notice, which was sent to the hostel yesterday, has been kept in abeyance,” said Uttam Das, the registrar of the university.
“The rules and guidelines regarding hostels should be clear and they should be mentioned in the prospectus of the course,” said a demonstrator.
The university has around 5,000 research scholars under different departments. However, a limited number of seats in the hostel have posed a problem for the scholars.
Moreover, the protesters said the department of modern Indian languages of the university held an entrance test last year to take research scholars. “Several students cleared the test but for unkn-own reasons, the department did not take any research scholar,” an protester alleged.
The research scholars also alleged that professor Umesh Chandra Deka has been appointed the dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts, in violation of the Gauhati University Act, 1947. They have asked Medhi to remove Deka from the dean’s post.
“According to the Gauhati University Act, the dean of a faculty should be elected from among the heads of the departments. But Deka has been holding the dean’s post without being head of any department. We want to know on what basis he has been appointed the dean. We asked Medhi sir about it but he could not give a proper reply,” said an agitator.