Savitribai Phule Pune University students agitate over new refectory rules
Agitated by the strict rules implemented by the administration of Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) , a group of 50 students vandalised the SPPU refectory on Monday afternoon. While SPPU administration has filed a police complaint in this regard, they were clear that they would not be changing any of the rules. The students who vandalised were they ones who were denied coupon meals at the refectory. The coupon meals system had been stopped by the SPPU administration recently. After a series of incidents where worms were allegedly found in the food served at the refectory four times in a week, SPPU administration took some strict decisions and framed a memorandum.
“Every day at least 300 students and guests come to the refectory for meals. They buy the coupon and have meals, but now if the coupon system is closed down, it is difficult for us. We cannot afford to have expensive food items. So, we protested at the refectory and gave a written letter to the administration to revoke these rules immediately,” said Nandkumar Hange, PhD student, SPPU.
According to officials, earlier, on March 23 after worms were alleged to have been found in the food, vice-chancellor of SPPU along with other officials met to decide on the rules for the refectory. In the meeting, it was decided that the coupon system at the refectory would be closed down as it was creating additional pressure on the refectory management. Also, it was decided that sharing of one limited meal will not be allowed. The management was of the view that fight happens over sharing the meal. Since the management thought that the television set was the cause of creating fights at the refectory, it was removed.
“We spend our time at the Jaykar library preparing for the exams. This library is next to the refectory and so, we find it easy to walk down and have meals in the afternoon. If they close this down for us and ask us to go to the canteen which is 2 kilometres away, it is not acceptable. We will continue to oppose the decision until it gets cancelled,” said Krunal Sapkael, MSc student, SPPU
In a statement released by the SPPU assistant registrar Rajesh Rahekar said, “Members of the refectory mess will only be allowed to have meals and those who want to have coupon system meals can go to canteens near hostel no. 8 and 9. All this changes are good for the students and rules are been decided as per the norms, and if any student as objection over it they can complaint it to the SPPU Food committee. We request to all the students to cooperate with the SPPU administration. In today’s incident some agitating students have broken the glasses of the refectory, some students manhandled to the women police at the bandobast. And one of the security officers was injured in the incident. And so the SPPU administration is in a process of lodging a police complaint against the students who are responsible for it.”
When contacted to Chatuhshrungi police station senior police inspector Bhaskar Jadhav he said, “We have received the complaint from the SPPU officials and the process of lodging the FIR is going on at the police station. Further action will be taken once the SPPU statement and other formalities are completed.”