Reopen Hindu Hostel, Bratya Basu tells Presidency vice-chancellor

The hostel has remained shut to students though the state government has allowed on-campus classes and reopening of hostels

Subhankar Chowdhury Kolkata Published 18.03.22, 06:57 AM
Students inside the Hindu Hostel compound on Wednesday

Students inside the Hindu Hostel compound on Wednesday Telegraph picture

Education minister Bratya Basu called Presidency University vice-chancellor Anuradha Lohia on Thursday and advised her to reopen Eden Hindu Hostel, sources in the state education department said.

The hostel has remained shut to students even though the state government has allowed on-campus classes and reopening of hostels.


Some of the students, who had been spending nights at Presidency University, stormed into the hostel compound on Wednesday evening.

Minister Basu, a former student of the erstwhile Presidency College, sought to know from the VC why the hostel was still shut, a state government official said.

Repeated calls and text messages to VC Lohia did not elicit any response.

According to sources in the government, VC Lohia explained to the minister that they could not reopen the hostel as the teachers are unwilling to take the responsibility of the superintendent and assistant superintendent out of the fear of getting involved in the students’ unrest over hostel issues.

An official of the university said that the teachers who used to act as the superintendent and assistant superintendent had resigned in January 2020 after a section of students started an indefinite sit-in outside a dean’s office over alleged delay in repair of wards 3, 4 and 5 of the Hindu Hostel.

A Presidency official said they are awaiting instructions from the VC on reopening the boys’ hostel (Hindu Hostel) and girls’ hostel in Salt Lake.

A student who entered the hostel on Wednesday evening said that until the issues pertaining to mess service and dining facilities are resolved, it would be difficult to stay in the hostel. The university must talk to the students to resolve the issues at the earliest.

“So far 25 students have entered the hostel. But there are several others from districts who are looking for hostel accommodation. VC Lohia has to ask the office of the dean of students to figure out how these students could be accommodated. The students are unable to attend offline classes,” said Debabrata Mandal, a second-year postgraduate student from Bankura district.

The hostel on Peary Charan Sarkar Street, next to the Darbhanga Building of Calcutta University, can accommodate 300 students. However, after the hostel was reopened in January 2019 after three-and-a-half year-long renovation, only Block-I and Block-II of the hostel were opened which can accommodate only 110 students.

“The authorities were supposed to carry out renovation and open all the blocks. They did nothing and students are now not being allowed inside the two blocks that are ready,” said another student who is from Murshidabad.

The students, who launched their protest on February 17,were sleeping on the floor beneath the staircase of the main building before barging into the hostel on Wednesday evening.

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