Student unrest forces shutdown of Odisha’s lone central university

The students have a 60-point charter of demands, which includes setting up more departments, medical facility, purchase of laboratory instruments, more books for the library, free Wi-Fi, auditorium, and ATM on campus.

india Updated: Mar 15, 2018 22:46 IST
Debabrata Mohanty
Debabrata Mohanty
Bhubaneswar
Student unrest,Odisha university,Koraput
The Central University of Orissa, which has seven schools, started in 2009 during increased Maoist activity in the district. (File photo )

Odisha’s only central university, in tribal-dominated Koraput district, was closed indefinitely on Thursday after an agitation by students seeking immediate filling up of teaching vacancies and improved hostel facilities, among a host of other demands.

Professor Sachidananda Mohanty, vice-chancellor (VC) of the Central University of Orissa, ordered the students to leave the hostel premises by 10am and college by 11am as they staged a sit-in protest on campus.

“The students were out of control and there were chances of violence, so we had to declare sine die to maintain discipline on campus,” said Mohanty. He alleged that a former registrar of the university, situated in Sunabeda, was inciting the students to agitate.

The agitating students had staged a sit-in protest in front of the administrative block on Wednesday, following which the university authorities met them for discussion.

The discussion, however, remained inconclusive and led to the students demanding that the VC resign if he could not solve their problems.

The students have a 60-point charter of demands, which includes setting up more departments, medical facility, purchase of laboratory instruments, more books for the library, free Wi-Fi, auditorium, and ATM on campus.

The students alleged that shutting down the university was a ploy to harass them. “If necessary, we will meet the governor ,” said a student. The university started in 2009 during increased Maoist activity in the district.

First Published: Mar 15, 2018 22:46 IST