Banaras Hindu University dharna for hostel reopening
Some 250 students of Banaras Hindu University have been on a dharna in front of the vice-chancellor’s campus residence since Saturday evening, demanding the hostels and libraries be reopened immediately.
The university had suspended classes in March and closed the hostels in early April because of the pandemicinduced lockdown. While most boarders vacated their hostels and rented rooms outside, some stayed back, cooking meals inside their rooms and scaling the boundary walls of their hostels to buy essentials.
A few girls too stayed back in their hostel, where a small gate was kept open.
Nearly 50 women students have joined the protest on the lawns of VC Rakesh Bhatnagar’s quarters. The students planned to spend Sunday night in the open too, amid the cold.
“We are trying to solve the problems of the students,” chief proctor O.P. Rai said. “Locking the gates of the hostels doesn’t mean the inmates are locked inside (their rooms). The gates were locked to prevent the entry of outsiders, keeping in mind the pandemic.”
Santosh Tripathi, a protesting student, said: “The VC doesn’t want to open the hostels and sent his subordinates to persuade us to suspend our dharna. The proctor said a committee would be formed soon to decide when the hostels and libraries would be reopened.”
He added: “The VC has formed committees twice in the past two months for the same purpose. We don’t need a third committee. We expect good intentions from the VC.”