LU students commence indefinite hunger strike to demand Union polls - Hindustan Times

LU students commence indefinite hunger strike to demand Union polls

Nov 01, 2023 06:58 PM IST

Lucknow University students are on an indefinite hunger strike demanding the reinstatement of students' union elections, which haven't been held since 2005. The university urges students to end the strike and return to classes, citing ongoing legal issues and the need for government classification of institutions.

LUCKNOW Lucknow University students have initiated an indefinite hunger strike in a renewed effort to press for the reinstatement of students’ union elections. This action comes after a memorandum was sent to the university administration on October 27, setting a three-day ultimatum for their demands to be met.

The protesting students at indefinite hunger strike (HT Photo)
The protesting students at indefinite hunger strike (HT Photo)

The protesting students stated that due to the university’s failure to address their demands, they have resorted to their constitutional right to an indefinite hunger strike. They hold LU Vice Chancellor, Professor Alok Kumar Rai, responsible for the health conditions of protesting students during this strike.

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Mangesh Yadav, one of the protesters, emphasized the need for Lucknow University to commit to conducting elections within a specific timeframe.

Last month, students demonstrated outside the Lucknow University Students Union (LUSU) building, advocating for the reinstatement of LUSU polls, which haven’t occurred since 2005.

Students have been campaigning to exert pressure on university officials to hold LUSU polls. They pointed out the inconsistency of having elections for teachers and staff unions while students’ unions remain banned.

According to one protester, “Since 2005, no student union elections have been held. In 2006, the LU administration had intended to follow the Lyngdoh Committee recommendations, but elections were cancelled due to student leaders’ vandalism over proposed age restrictions.”

LU recently addressed the state government, identifying the obstacle preventing union elections. LU Registrar Vinod Kumar Singh explained that the classification of institutions according to the Lyngdoh Committee recommendations must be carried out at the government level.

Registrar Vinod Singh revealed that in response to a government letter from March 21, 2012, LU had issued a notification to conduct polls on May 2, 2012, in accordance with Lyngdoh Committee recommendations. However, a petition for age relaxation was filed by a student named Hemant Singh, leading to the ban on elections on October 3, 2012.

Registrar Singh added that the petition was dismissed by the court on December 11, 2019, but a recall application was subsequently filed before the High Court on February 28, 2020, which is awaiting a final decision.

Additionally, a petition related to student union elections and the classification of universities and colleges as per the Lyngdoh Committee recommendations is still pending before the High Court.

LU urges students to call off hunger strike, return to classes

Lucknow University is urging students to call off their hunger strike and return to their classes. The university has clarified that student union elections were banned by the High Court on September 13, 2012, and the state government was instructed to categorize universities and colleges into large, medium, and small campuses as per the recommendations of the Lyngdoh Committee.

Officials also noted that the pending writ is still before the High Court, and the classification of institutions has not been completed at the government level. Currently, the academic environment on campus maintains a high standard, with all students actively engaged in their studies.

In light of the university’s significant academic progress and the positive campus environment, the Vice-Chancellor, Dean of Student Welfare, all Deans of Faculty, the Chief Proctor, and all Heads of Departments have jointly appealed to students to return to their classes. They encourage students to focus on their academic future and actively contribute to the development, promotion, and nation-building efforts of the university, the state, and the country. HTC

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