Utkal University VC sits on dharna in front his office against student union row
Protesting against the students’ unrest and repeated incidents of violence on campus, vice chancellor of Utkal University, Soumendra Mohan Patnaik, staged a sit-inindia Updated: Oct 10, 2017 18:48 IST
Heckled by students over the cancellation of union elections, the vice-chancellor of Odisha’s oldest university sat on a 12-hour-long dharna before his office in Bhubaneswar on Tuesday morning.
Protesting against the students’ unrest and repeated incidents of violence on campus, vice chancellor of Utkal University, Soumendra Mohan Patnaik, along with his other colleagues staged a sit-in in front of his office.
Calling it ‘Introspective Silent Fasting’, Patnaik began his dharna at 8 am, a day after he was surrounded and barricaded by students inside his office.
Election to the university’s students’ union was scheduled on September 23, but the PG Council, the apex body for decision-making on campus, decided not to conduct elections due to what it termed as a deteriorating law and order situation.
The decision was met with howls of protest from students groups affiliated to three major political parties, the Biju Janata Dal, Congress and BJP. They demanded the authorities reconsider the issue and conduct the students’ union poll this year as the university is an autonomous body.
Last year, Biju Chhatra Janata Dal, the student wing of the ruling BJD, had won the student’s union polls in the university.