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Protest over strong room plan

Golaghat, March 11: Students of Debraj Roy College here staged a demonstration today in front of the deputy commissioner’s office against the proposal to set up a strong room for the Lok Sabha polls.

The students boycotted classes for the day and also staged a dharna opposing the move.

“We have submitted a memorandum to deputy commissioner Julie Sonowal urging her to take alternative steps because setting up a strong room in the college will hamper our studies. The examinations for the second, fourth and sixth semesters are scheduled from May 19 and the course work is still to be completed. Therefore, we have appealed for an alternative solution keeping in mind the welfare of the students,” said Basanta Bora, general secretary of the college’s student union.

Principal Putul Saikia told this correspondent that though they have not received any official confirmation regarding the setting up of a strong room in the college, election officials have come and conducted a ground survey on the premises. “We have already lost precious academic time during the higher secondary examination and we would like the strong room to be shifted to some other place,” she said.

Golaghat additional deputy commissioner Rohiteswar Deori, however, said the college has been selected for setting up a strong room to store the EVMs of Golaghat and Khumtai Assembly constituencies. “We have assured the students that their studies will not be hampered,” he added.

“We strongly oppose the move to use educational institutions for setting up strong rooms and all our district committees have submitted memorandums to their respective deputy commissioners to arrange for alternative locations so the academic atmosphere is not affected,” Tapan Gogoi, secretary of the All Assam Students’ Union, said.

Set up in 1949, Debraj Roy College has been accredited with A grade by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC).