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BIT-Mesra brass calls for talks

The strike of around 800 teaching and non-teaching staff under The BIT Employees’ Association over “administrative malpractice” completed Day 2 on Friday on BIT-Mesra campus, even as newly appointed vice chancellor Gopal Pathak read out resolutions taken by the management.

Pathak had been appointed acting vice chancellor late on Thursday evening after D. Sasmal resigned hours earlier.

According to a release, the management of the deemed university asked agitating employees to call off the strike immediately and said a committee would be formed to look into their demands.

“The acting V-C has assured strikers that a panel would be formed with two or three representatives from their side as well. We are ready to talk if they call off the strike,” a top management official, not wishing to be named, said.

He added agitating employees had been asked to tender an apology for the “ruckus on January 2 during the fast-cum-dharna where they even confined senior varsity officials”. “We filed an FIR against employee outfit secretary J. Singh, president A.S. Vidyarthi and others,” he said.

On the other hand, protesters said their strike would go on till their demands — probe into job anomalies, including those awarded on compassionate grounds, pending promotions and others — were met.

“Ours is a peaceful protest. Being educators, we care for students and have categorically made it clear that whoever wants to join classes is free to do so. The management is painting us as hooligans,” Vidyarthi said, alleging 290 cases of “flawed” decisions related to promotion and salary.