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Tuesday, Nov 19, 2019

Army Institute of Law protest: Second meet with chairman inconclusive, students irked

Students want to appoint students’ body themselves; protest against strict code of conduct, fee hikes, sub-standard food in canteen and lack of proper faculty

cities Updated: Oct 19, 2019 01:03 IST
Idrees Bukhtiyar
Idrees Bukhtiyar
Hindustan Times, Mohali
Hindustantimes
         

A stalemate between the students and administration of the Army Institute of Law (AIL), Sector 68, continued on Friday after the college administration announced their decisions on the demands raised by the students.

Around 300 students, who have been staging a peaceful protest on the campus since Wednesday, met chairman Major General ML Aswal for the second time and expressed their ‘dissatisfaction’ over the decisions announced by him regarding the eight demands raised by them.

“He also told us to finalise four representatives who would speak to him in the meeting. But today, he came in the meeting only for five minutes and didn’t listen to those four students. He came inside the room with a paper in his hand, narrated his decisions and walked out of the room,” the students said. “He (ML Aswal) told us that if we don’t want to obey the instructions given by him, then we should approach our principal for help. He also said that he couldn’t do anything in the matter,” the students said.

Students said they were ‘pleading’ before the officer to listen to their grievances but he did not. “We went up with him till the gate, requesting him to listen to us but instead he directed his driver to leave the place,” a student said. Another student said that before leaving the campus, the officer told them to disperse the crowd at the earliest.”

‘NOMINATION OF STUDENTS’ BODY TO CONTINUE’

Among various demands, the students had sought that the interim students’ body be appointed in a democratic way. The order of the institute’s decisions, a copy of which is with Hindustan Times, said, “Interim body of students should be made by nomination only. No elections will be held and composition and the draft charter are to be submitted by the students by November 15.”

On the students’ second demand of interim revocation of the code of conduct, it says, “A review will be done in consultation with the students and all the parents.” To the third demand under which the students had asked for mandating a system of mock lecture for fresh recruitment of faculty members and inviting anonymous feedback for the present teachers, AIL authorities responded, “Participation in selection of faculty not agreed while feedback on the existing faculty is welcome.”

Over the complaints of poor food and high pricing of products at the college canteen, the college’s letter says, “To be looked after by the nominated students’ body, weekly feedback and checks should also be conducted.” To the demand of defining the composition of the board of inquiry, the college officials responded as, “One nominated student will be the part of the board of the inquiry.”

NO RESPITE ON FEE HIKE

The authorities also refused to lift the ban on the movement of boys and girls inside the campus after 11pm. “Not agreed, review after feedback from parents,” they said in the letter issued by them. The institute also denied an ‘impartial probe’ to look into the conduct of the female warden posted at girls’ hostel. The decisions said, “Not agreed. Formal complaint, if received, will be investigated and suitable action taken.” To the last complaint about the hike in fee every year, the decision order said, “It is management’s decision after due consideration in consonance with the rules on the subject.”

Meanwhile, the students expressed dissatisfaction over the college authorities’ decisions and said they would continue protest till their demands are met. “They (college authorities) have not come up with complete reasons and have not explained the things,” one of the students said.

Earlier, a six-hour meeting was also held between the chairman and the students on Thursday. The students had staged a 15-minute walkout from the meeting after they found that their demands were not being taken seriously.

College principal Tejinder Kaur could not be reached for her comments.