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AU scholars call off protest

Silchar, Jan. 9: The Assam University Research Scholars’ Association today submitted a proposal to the university authority regarding their various demands and called off their agitation “for the time being”.

Association president Fazlur Rahman Talukdar said over phone today, “We have called off the protest and are hopeful of getting a response from the university authority. We are facing a lot of problems and we want immediate action.”

The university, situated 25km from here and around 350km from Guwahati, has a total of 700 research scholars, including part-timers. Around 250 scholars have been protesting on the campus since Monday.

One of their key complaints is that the non-teaching staff members were not cooperating with them regarding the processing of fellowships and contingency funds. The association also accused the authorities of not providing well-equipped labs.

“We have been protesting in a democratic and peaceful manner for the past few days. However, a non-teaching staff misbehaved with a fellow scholar. We demand immediate action against the culprit. The university authorities have agreed to look into three of our demands — streamlining the fellowship procedure, disbursement of the contingency funds before March 31 and provision of a separate guide in case of unavailability of a research guide.”

Assam University vice-chancellor Somnath Dasgupta said, “We are taking all the demands very seriously and a decision will be taken soon. The funds for scholars is given by the UGC and when we get the funds, we will disburse it accordingly.”