Allahabad University: Student protesting the fee hike attempted self-immolation on Monday but the act was foiled by the police deployed on the spot.
Anu Parthiban | September 22, 2022 | 08:14 AM IST
PRAYAGRAJ: Amid the ongoing protest by students against Allahabad University fee hike, Vice Chancellor Sangita Srivastava on Wednesday said their complaint was "misdirected" and promised to waive off the entire fee of those hailing from poor background and orphaned during COVID-19.
A student protesting the fee hike attempted self-immolation on Monday but the act was foiled by the police deployed on the spot. Leaders, including Priyanka Gandhi, urged the state government to immediately withdraw the decision and extended support to the students protesting against the 400% fee hike.
The fee per student annually for the past several decades was Rs 975 which comes to Rs 81 per month. The university fee has been enhanced to Rs 4,151 per year, which is Rs 333 per month, VC Sangita Srivastava's message shared on the university's official Twitter handle said.
The process has gone through rigorous deliberation and decision making at several levels, the Finance Committee, Academic Council and Executive Council, she explained.
"What is being spread is that there is a 400-times increase which is not correct. The 30-40 students who have chosen to disrupt the campus by falsehood are trying to ruin the academic environment of Allahabad University. The complaint of the students is misdirected," the message read.
She alleged that the "A great seat of learning is being destroyed because some nefarious elements are trying to unnecessarily politicise the issue. There is a concerted effort to mislead the students and spread misinformation."
It further states, "Those who are so poor and are orphaned in Covid, I am giving my word, the university shall waive the entire fee for them."
Defending the university's decision to increase fees, she asked everyone, "which educational institution is giving quality education at a low fee of Rs 333 per month". Calling the university as old Oxford of the East, she further said that university has world class faculty in most of the departments.
Some protesting students claimed that the district administration is threatening to run bulldozer over their houses to end their agitation. Akhilesh Yadav, vice-president of the university's student union, told reporters, "The district administration is threatening to demolish (our) houses by sending a team of Prayagraj Development Authority (PDA) to end the movement."
Samajwadi Chhatra Sabha leader Ajay Yadav Samrat said, "Today is the 16th day of the agitation against the fee hike. The university administration is constantly threatening to cancel our degrees. "At the same time, PDA team is being sent to the homes of students, and family members are being asked to call back the protesting students, otherwise our houses will be demolished."
He said, "The police is threatening the agitating students to end their stir, and telling them that they will be sent to jail under the Gangster Act. Hurt by these things, I and four other comrades, leading this movement, are going to sit on hunger strike from today."
(With inputs from PTI)
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