Even as the Himachal Pradesh University (HPU) vice-chancellor ADN Bajpai interacted with student associations on Wednesday, deadlock still continued over the issues of fee hike and elections to the student council association (SCA), with the Student Federation of India (SFI), Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and National Student Union of India (NSUI) staging protests at the university campus.
The Left- backed SFI and Congress' student wing NSUI staged massive protests, demanding roll back of the fee. The SFI is also demanding elections to the SCA instead of nominating the student leadership.
'LATHICHARGE' AND POLICE DENIAL
During the protests, the quick reaction team of police used mild force as the SFI's activists were trying to enter the V-C's office. Some SFI activists received minor injuries. Accusing the police of lathicharge, the SFI leaders said that the government wanted to suppress the students' voice.
However, Shimla ASP Bhajan Negi maintained that the police only removed students from the road because the protest was causing a traffic jam and claimed that they did not resort to lathicharge. "We have only removed students forcefully but no did not resort to lathicharge," he said.
The SFI gave two days' ultimatum to the university authorities to accept their demands. SFI leader Piyush Sewal said that the HPU is wasting time. Instead of holding negotiations with students, the authorities should accept their demands. "We are protesting against the fee hike and proposed nomination pattern of SCA election," he said.
SFI leader Rajan Harta said that neither the state government nor the HPU administration is serious about the welfare of students. In the name of academics, the HPU administration is snatching the democratic rights of students.
The NSUI also staged protest against the HPU administration, blocking the road at the Summer Hill, disrupting vehicular traffic outside the HPU campus. Police removed students forcefully and in the scuffle, some students received injuries.
The ABVP, the student wing of the BJP, organised a 'shoe shine' demonstration at the campus to pretest against the proposed fee hike by the HPU. They raised slogans like 'Polish shoes and deposit the fee'.
ABVP campus president Baburam criticised the government and the HPU administration for an excessive fee hike which has out a big burden on students. "Fee is a major issue. We also oppose the university's move not to hold SCA elections," he added.
SFI'S CHAIN HUNGER STRIKE
Meanwhile, the SFI's chain hunger strike entered its sixth day on Thursday. Intensifying itsstir, the SFI had started the chain hunger strike, opposing the fee hike and demanding elections to SCA.
HPU TO HIKE FEE
After the recommendation of the resource mobilisation committee (RMC), the HPU has decided to hike the fee manifolds. In comparison to the existing fee structure, the proposed structure is quite high. The proposed fee hike is very high in professional courses. The HPU on Thursday released the comparison chart of fees. The RMC has studied the fee pattern of the Punjab University and recommended the hike in fee, citing financial crunch.
PANEL SUBMITS REPORT ON SCA NOMINATION
The committee, which went into the nomination pattern for SCA, submitted its report to the vice-chancellor on Thursday. The report would be tabled in the executive council (EC) meeting wherein a final decision would be taken on the issue.