The Telegraph
Monday , August 8 , 2016

Protest over Hindu hostel delay

A group of Presidency University students has been demonstrating outside Eden Hindu Hostel to protest an alleged delay in the renovation of the heritage building.

The hostel has been closed since July last year for the renovation.

The 38 students who started the "indefinite sit-in" in the portico of the 129-year-old building on Saturday afternoon are all former boarders of the hostel. They now stay at an accommodation provided by the university in Rajarhat.

In late July 2015, the 150-odd boarders of the hostel had been shifted to the rented accommodation in Rajarhat to facilitate the repairs.

Students said Presidency registrar Debojyoti Konar had told them verbally before they were shifted to Rajarhat that the repairs would take 11 months.

Metro had on July 30, 2015, quoted Konar as saying that it would take "11 months to complete the repair work".

On Sunday, however, Konar said: "I had meant that Presidency had signed an agreement with Hidco for taking the Rajarhat accommodation on rent for 11 months. That does not mean that the repairs would take 11 months."

Konar said another agreement of similar tenure had been signed with Hidco.

Presidency has been denying accommodation to first-year undergraduate and postgraduate students since last year as the Rajarhat facility is meant for the students who had been staying at the hostel before it was closed down for repairs.

"We repeatedly brought the laxity to the attention of the registrar but to no avail. We will continue our sit-in," Aslam Khan, a third-year undergraduate student of philosophy.

Lohia on students

Presidency VC Anuradha Lohia said at a programme on Sunday: "Students need to remember that democracy is for all. Whenever things don't go their way they can't say that it is undemocratic. They have to learn to be part of the civil society."

Parents, she said, should teach students how to behave.

Lohia was speaking a day after Presidency students had gheraoed Konar for 23 hours

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