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HindustanTimes Fri,29 Aug 2014

Protesting gujjar, bakarwal students get support

HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times  Jammu, September 12, 2013
First Published: 18:40 IST(12/9/2013) | Last Updated: 18:41 IST(12/9/2013)

Fully supporting the ongoing fast-unto-death by Gujjar-Bakarwal Students Welfare Association, who are demanding establishing of Gojri and Pahari research centre at Jammu University, Progressive Students Association (PSA) held a protest at the university main gate.

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They shouted slogans in favour of the demand of establishing the research centre, which was approved in 2008 by the university council meeting. Later, the protesters moved towards the V-C secretariat and held a protest there and were joined by nearly 1,000 students.

PSA Jammu University unit vice-president MS Bhatti said, "From the very first day, we have supported the hunger strike and we hail the demand of establishing the Gojri and Pahari research centre."

He said it is the duty of the state to promote and preserve local languages, especially in the university to promote and preserve cultural heritage.

He added that J&K has population of approximately 20 lakh Gujjar and Bakarwals and promoting their space in institutions of higher learning is of utmost importance.

"This will encourage inclusive model of education where other market-oriented courses are dominating higher education," he said, adding that the PSA will struggle for promotion of local languages.

A spokesperson, Marvi Salathia, lambasted the vice-chancellor's excuse of lack of funds for establishment of the said centre. She said the V-C is promoting neo-liberal agenda in higher education. Their keen interest in promotion of market-oriented courses and reluctance towards such centres is clearly indicate that whose interests they are serving.

Pertinently, students on hunger strike are not even consuming water. On Tuesday night, students came out of hostels and protested all night in front of the V-C's residence. The medical condition of two students Tanzim and Talib Hussain has deteriorated. Tanzin was shifted to hospital on Wednesday night.


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