A group of Presidency University students has been holding a sit-in for 12 days to press for a series of demands, including resumption of the bus service for girl students to travel from their Salt Lake hostel to the campus and back.
The hostel reopened last March — after the resumption of in-person classes, which had remained suspended for two years because of Covid — but the Presidency authorities have not restored the bus service citing funds crunch.
The girl students staying at the hostel are paying from their pockets to travel to the campus and back.
Before the Covid outbreak in March 2020, Presidency had a bus service to ferry girl students to the campus from Salt Lake and drop them back at the hostel after classes.
The hostel for male students of Presidency, Eden Hindu Hostel, is located on Peary Charan Street, a stone's throw from the campus.
Anandarupa Dhar, president of the Presidency unit of SFI and one of the protesting students, said it was sad that the authorities had done nothing to resume the bus service, though 10 months have passed since the hostel in BF Block reopened.
“Our hostel is far away from the campus. It is the duty of the university to ensure transportation at a subsidised cost. The boarders spend Rs 60 daily to commute between the campus and the hostel,” she said.
“The university authorities’ statement that they were unable to bear the expenses following cost escalation proves they are reeling under a funds crunch because of a sharp drop in grants from the government,” Dhar said.
A student who stays at the hostel said the dean of students, Arun Kumar Maity, had earlier told them that they had to pay between Rs 2,000 and Rs 3,000 to avail themselves of the bus service.
“Previously, we would pay Rs 400 a month for transportation. The monthly seat rent was Rs 90. What the dean proposed was unacceptable,” Ankita Sarkar, a boarder, said.
The seat rent is now Rs 180 a month.
When contacted by The Telegraph for a comment on the students’ demand, dean Maity declined to comment. Calls and text messages from this newspaper to vice-chancellor Anuradha Lohia failed to elicit any response.
“Jadavpur University, which, too, is encountering a funds crunch, has at least come up with an alumni cell to raise resources. We don’t see any such attempt at Presidency,” a protesting student said.
The other demands of the Presidency students include providing funds for laboratory equipment and restoration of the students’ union elections.
Tutor held for hitting kid
A 22-year-old private tutor was arrested on Saturday for allegedly beating a 10-year-old student.
The child's father lodged a complaint with Phoolbagan police station saying his son was assaulted by the tutor with an electrical wire attached to a set-top box for apparently being inattentive in class.
“The child returned home and told his father about the alleged assault. The father then came to the police station to lodge a complaint. The private tutor has been arrested based on the complaint,” an officer at the police station said.
“The accused, who was preparing for examinations for jobs, has been booked under the IPC section dealing with assault.”
The tutor was produced in court on Sunday and granted bail.