IIIT Basar students protest enters day 4; Telangana Education Minister appeals to withdraw agitation

Rajiv Gandhi University of Knowledge and Technologies students are protesting against university administration.

IIIT Basar students protest enters day 4; Telangana Education Minister appeals to withdraw agitation Image Source: Official Twitter Account - @SGC_RGUKT_BASAR
Sanjay | Jun 17, 2022 - 1:25 p.m. IST
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NEW DELHI: The ongoing protest organised by students of Rajiv Gandhi University of Knowledge and Technologies (RGUKT), Basar popularly known as IIIT Basar in Telangana’s Nirmal district entered day 4 on Friday. Braving the scorching sun, students have been holding protests led by the university’s Student Governing Council (SGC) members against the university administration since June 14. Several political leaders including former Congress president Rahul Gandhi, and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Telangana unit chief Bandi Sanjay Kumar have extended their support to the agitating students.

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Telangana Education Minister Sabitha Indra Reddy has appealed to the protesters to withdraw their agitation. However, SGC president Madesh Sunkari told Careers360 that they will continue their protest till their 12 demands are met.

SGC has 12 demands— Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao should visit the campus, a permanent Vice-Chancellor who stays on the campus should be appointed, faculty-student ratio should be proportional, studies should be Information and Communication Technology-based, hostels should be renovated, provide additional titles in the library, amenities like beds, cots and uniforms should be provided, Campus should be well-maintained, Mess should be well-maintained, eradicate monopoly in issuing tenders to food suppliers, recruitment in sports, collaborate with other institutions.

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“We are continuing our peaceful protest on day 4 as none of our demands are met in the last three days of the protest. We will not stop until our first demand is met. i.e Telangana Chief Minister Rao visits the campus and assures us about the solutions to the given demands. Each and every official of the university is saying that only the government can do something, so the only person who can solve our problem is our Chief Minister,” SGC president Sunkari said.

Sunkari said that the SGC members have been meeting the college officials for the last five months. “They are saying the issues are not in their hands and only the government can solve students’ problems.”

Politicisation of protest

Several opposition leaders from Telangana visited the IIIT Basar campus to extend their support to agitating students. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi took to Facebook and said that his party firmly stands with the students of Telangana.

“Deplorable conditions on IIIT Basar campus is an important issue which the government must address. The arrogant KCR government must not underestimate the power of students,” he added.

Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) Telangana state president RS Praveen Kumar and BJP Telangana chief Bandi Sanjay Kumar, Telangana Desam Party leader Jyothsna Tirunagari have extended their solidarity with the protest.

Responding to the allegations of politicisation of protests, SGC president Sunkari said, “We don’t have any political agenda. We don’t support any political party but political parties and leaders are extending their support to us and it is needed. We are also getting support from civil society members, alumni associations and various student organisations. Around 8,000 Students in their university are from rural backgrounds and are getting support from everyone.

Education Minister appeals students to withdraw protests

Telangana Education Minister Sabitha Reddy on Wednesday held a meeting with government and university officials to discuss and resolve the issues of students at Basar IIIT.

“Telangana Education Minister Sabitha Reddy held a meeting in Hyderabad with academicians, officials, and ministers. Following the meeting, she told the media that our demands are silly. They did not release adequate funds for the university,” the SGC president alleged.

Minister Reddy on Thursday appealed to the students to call off their protest saying that “The government is sympathetic to your demands.” However, students have continued their protests.

“We will continue our protest till our demands are met and we will become successful in our motives. We have support from our alumni association, and teachers' associations in Telangana saying that our demands are genuine and must be met. We are braving the rain and scorching heat while protesting and we will not do such things for silly demands,” the SGC president said.

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On being asked if there will be any effect on the IIIT Basar's ongoing agitation because of protests in Telangana against central government’s Agnipath recruitment scheme for armed forces, the student council chief Sunkari said, “No student will indulge in violence. Students are fearing that a few outsiders had entered the campus yesterday night with support from the police. If anything untoward happens, solely the police will be responsible for it.”

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