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Saturday, Aug 24, 2019

Pune varsity students threaten to disrupt flag hoisting on Independence Day

Students from the Bharatiya Vidyarthi Morcha organisation, took out a protest outside Karmalkar’s office over multiple demands

pune Updated: Aug 14, 2019 16:20 IST
Dheeraj Bengrut
Dheeraj Bengrut
Hindustan Times, Pune
Students performed a street play outside Savitribai Phule Pune University’s main building to highlight the issues they were facing on campus, on Tuesday.
Students performed a street play outside Savitribai Phule Pune University’s main building to highlight the issues they were facing on campus, on Tuesday.(Milind Saurkar/HT Photo)
         

This Independence Day for Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) might be filled with protests of a different kind. Students have come forward with a threat to disrupt the flag hoisting ceremony by vice-chancellor Nitin Karmalkar on August 15.

On Tuesday, students from the Bharatiya Vidyarthi Morcha organisation, took out a protest outside Karmalkar’s office over multiple demands and warned the administration that they will not allow the vice-chancellor conduct the flag hosting on Independence Day.

The students performed a skit depicting the various unjust practices, which were happening in the university, during the protest.

“Students are angry about a lot of issues, including the new hostel rulebook which prevents students from expressing political views. The hostel fees has been drastically increased from Rs 700 to Rs 4,000. Then, remains the issue of the earn and learn scheme, where SPPU staffers were caught indulging in corruption. Students have been demanding action against the officials and is also asking SPPU to withdraw case against 12 students in the refectory issue,” said Satish Pawar, student and president, Bharatiya Vidyarthi Morcha.

Jaykar Gaikwad, another student, said, “The SPPU campus has become a political base of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government and through the vice-chancellor they are imposing unlawful restrictions on students. There are cases of corruption underway at SPPU and therefore, we do not want Karmalkar to hoist the nation flag on Independence Day. This is an open warning, alerting the SPPU administration that we will not allow the vice-chancellor to conduct the flag hoisting on August 15. A head of department, who is not corrupt, must lead the event. We will take out an aggressive protest if the need arises, and we are prepared to go to jail for the same.” 

The students conducted the protest outside the vice-chancellor’s office for more than an hour, at the main building in SPPU. The students wanted to meet Karmalkar personally to discuss the issue. However, as the vice-chancellor was not present in office, Sadanand Bhosale, director of the SPPU’s students welfare board, met protesting students and took their memorandum.

Bhosale said, “I will convey all the points and issues raised by the students to the vice-chancellor and try to fix a meeting between both the parties. We have accepted the letter from the students and according to the SPPU administration procedure, further action will be taken based on the demands raised by the students.”

First Published: Aug 13, 2019 20:19 IST

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