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Sikkim govt colleges to open on July 23

A student protest at Tadong College near Gangtok on July 16. File picture

Gangtok, July 20: Five government colleges which have been closed since Tuesday because of a fee roll-back protest by students will be reopened on July 23.

Earlier, the colleges and the schools were scheduled to start from July 21.

“Keeping in view the ongoing tension, the human resource development department has decided to open the colleges on July 23. However, the schools will reopen on July 21,” said a senior government official.

The state government had declared the schools (in East Sikkim) and colleges (across state) closed from Tuesday following the protests by students over the semester fee hike.

The principal of Sikkim Government College of Tadong, Dr M.P. Kharel, issued a press statement saying classes would be held only for third and fifth semester students from July 23, while classes for the first and second semesters shall start on August 1.

“Only students in uniform and identity cards will be allowed entry to the college. Those not in college uniform and without identity cards will not be allowed to enter the college,” said Dr Kharel.

First semester classes in other government colleges will also be held from August 1.

Around eight persons, including four students, were injured in a police lathicharge on protesters.

“The students’ demand for roll-back in semester fees has been agreed and now we want them to concentrate on their studies,” said a senior HRDD official.

According to a notice issued on July 11, the revised fees for BSC and BA with practicals (lab based) were Rs 1,700. Previously, it was Rs 331. Similarly, for non-lab-based subjects, BA and B.Com, the amount had been increased to Rs 1,200. The students were paying 321 before. For BA (physical health education), the amount was made 1,400. Earlier it was Rs 321.

For Law College, the new fee was Rs 1,700. Previously it was Rs 600. The fee is paid every six month.

The revision in the fees has been rolled back by the government because of protests.

On July 14, around 300 students of Tadong Degree College had taken out a rally around to protest against the hike.

The students had blocked NH10 in Tadong.The police had lathicharged the students and many were injured.