Allahabad University students threaten to take 'bhu samadhi' over fee hike, dig pit
Students have been protesting for several days, claiming that their fees have nearly tripled.
A students’ protest at Allahabad University over fees hike intensified on Tuesday as they threatened to take "bhu samadhi" by burying themselves in a trench they dug on the campus.
Some of them even jumped into a five-foot pit dug near the protest site, and police personnel had to pull them out. Additional force was later deployed as the situation escalated. Later, they planted saplings in the pit.
Students have been protesting for several days, claiming that their fees have nearly tripled. Students said they were ready to take their own lives to protest the fee increase, but the university administration was firm on its stand of not withdrawing the hike.
In a letter, they said a 300-per cent fee hike has been implemented unethically by the university administration, due to which many students would be deprived of education.
ABVP state convener (sports activity) Kartikeya Pati Tripathi said, "Our fight is with the dictatorial vice-chancellor of Allahabad University because their decision (fee hike) is tarnishing the image of the central and the state government."
"I want the government to take suo motu cognizance of this matter and issue a direction to withdraw the fee hike," he said.
On Saturday night, students took out a torchlight procession around the Arts faculty of the university. A large number of protesting students came out on the road after switching on the flashlight of their mobile phones.
They also entered the campus and organised a symbolic ‘Trayodashi’ ceremony (13th day rituals after the death of an individual) of vice-chancellor Sangita Srivastava on the portico of the AU V-C’s office.
The fee for undergraduate courses at Allahabad University has been hiked from ₹975 to ₹4,151 per year (by 300 per cent). For the past 16 days, students have been demonstrating the fee hike, demanding that it be reversed.
“The increased fee will be applicable to students who take admission in the under-graduate courses, and the old fee structure will remain applicable for the old students”, Allahabad University spokesperson Jaya Kapoor was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.
(With agency inputs)