Monday, 30th October 2017

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Presi sit-in for hostel repair delay

The students are holding the protest in the office of the dean of students

By Subhankar Chowdhury in Calcutta
  • Published 25.01.20, 12:50 AM
  • Updated 25.01.20, 12:50 AM
  • a min read
Graffiti with azadi written on a raised fist that students have drawn on the iconic staircase at Presidency University. Picture by Pradip Sanyal

A section of Presidency University students has been on an indefinite sit-in in a dean’s office since Tuesday night over alleged delay in repair of wards 3, 4 and 5 of Eden Hindu Hostel.

The students said the authorities had in December 2018 promised, after renovation of wards 1 and 2 of the hostel, that the other three wards would be repaired at the earliest.

“More than a year has passed but the authorities are still not saying when the repairs would be over. We had no other option but to join the sit-in,” said Anit Badiya, one of the protesting students.

The students are holding the protest in the office of the dean of students, Arun Kumar Maity, as well as in the corridor leading to the dean’s office.

“Vice-chancellor Anuradha Lohia had wanted to meet the protesting students on Thursday. But they didn’t respond. She is willing to meet them on Monday, too. They have to seek an appointment. Once they meet VC Lohia, she will apprise them of the steps being taken regarding the renovation work,” said Maity.

The students have drawn a graffiti — a raised fist with the word “azadi” written on it — on the stairs leading to the first floor of the main building.

Another protesting student said the authorities were forced to undertake repair of wards 1 and 2 after four-and-a-half-months of sit-in by students that had started in August 2018.

“This time, too, the authorities would have to be forced to get the job done. The authorities are so insensitive that no one has shown the courtesy of talking to us,” the student said.

The 134-year-old Eden Hindu Hostel was shut down for repair on July 29, 2015. The university arranged an accommodation for students in New Town, around 15km from the campus. An official said 164 students stay at Hindu Hostel now.