Pune varsity students on strike boycott exams; collapse due to hunger, sunstroke
The students of English department of Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU), who are on a hunger strike against the dictatorial style of the head of department of English department, stuck by their decision and boycotted the first exam on Friday. According to students, some of the protesting candidates also collapsed due to hunger and sunstroke. While the SPPU authorities claimed that they met the students, the latter denied the claim.
A total 85 students appeared for the final exams. Though SPPU authorities tried to organise an amicable discussion with the students on strike, they refused the appeal.
“The vice-chancellor appealed the students of the English department to stop their protest, but they were not cooperating and stuck to their demand to remove the head of department (HOD) of the English department. Even though the vice-chancellor informed them that there are certain procedures to be followed while removing the HOD, the students stood their ground,” said a source from SPPU, on terms of anonymity.
Meanwhile, the students on strike are sticking to their demands and some of them lost consciousness due to hunger and sunstroke. “The university is not ready to agree with our demands. The vice-chancellor did not even come to meet us. Two members went to meet him and asked him to conduct the meeting in the open. But he wanted to discuss the issue inside a closed room so as to manipulate the students,” alleged Sphurti Kayastha, a student.
SPPU, on Friday, began their exams amidst strict security and presence of police officials on the university grounds. The department of English also began their exams on Friday with the first-year post graduation exams beginning at 10 am while the second-year post graduation exams were held after noon.