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War against eviction

As Delhi University vacates its hostels, students get set to protest more aggressively.

entertainment Updated: Aug 23, 2010 01:04 IST

With just 41 days to The Commonwealth Games, the fight against eviction of students from college hostels to accommodate Games guests, is intensifying. The authorities, however, remain unperturbed, making students more livid.

“Even after the nine-day relay hunger strike, whereby groups of five fast by turn, the University is not affected. This is appaling. Also, the arrangements made for evicted students are sub-standard,” says Vasundhra Jairath, a student who is part of the campaign, undertaken by University Community for Democracy.

Bikram Bora, a student who was evicted from Ramjas Hostel, says, “I stay in Vijaynagar and the house rent is around R 10,000 per month. In hostel, it used to be R 2,000 to 3,000.

Aniket Mishra, a final year student at Hansraj College, is another victim. “I am staying near Malka Ganj, and there are four of us sharing a single room for R 8,500 a month. In hostels, we get a single room each. It feels terrible to live like this.”

But others say there’s still a ray of hope, and more aggressive action may help. “Since the University is not responding, we plan to organise fresh agitation in front of college principals. To make the campaign more effective, we will distribute accessories such as T-shirts and badges,” says Bonojit Hussain, an activist and ex-student of Delhi University, adding at the same time, that “everyone in the campus is aware of the issue. The hostels are providing food at subsidised rates, and colleges such has Ramjas have issued letters to the hostel committee to subsidise rent in the coming year, as compensation.”