Kolkata: Presidency University students call off 10-day-long hunger strike
Agitating students of Kolkata's Presidency University have withdrawn their 10-day-long hunger strike after authorities gave them a written assurance that they would be provided accommodation at a hostel, adjacent to the institute's campus, by November 15. The students have been demonstrating on the institute campus since August, seeking room allotments at two blocks of Eden Hindu Hostel. Here are more details.
Authorities agreed to allot space for immediate shifting from rented-facility
The authorities had, however, said that the hostel, which was undergoing renovation work, would be opened only after it was found to be safe for use. Sayan Chakraborty, a spokesman of the agitators, said, "Besides providing accommodation by November 15, the authorities agreed to allot space at the hostel for immediate shifting of belongings from the rented facility at New Town."
Institute to bear expenses of those who fell ill during-protest
"They (institute authorities) are also ready to bear medical expenses of those who fell ill during the demonstration, which began on August 3, and indefinite fast on October 1," Chakraborty said. The university, however, didn't concede to their demand for dissolution of a probe panel formed by institute to find out who was responsible for closure of main gate on September 10, he said.
Students will continue to protest over other demands
One of the agitating students, Subho Biswas, said the strike was withdrawn around 7 pm yesterday evening. He, however, clarified that the students will continue the sit-in demonstration on the main campus of the university till November 15 over other demands.
Students have been informed about progress of renovation work: Officials
A university official said the students have been given details about the progress of the renovation work. "We had urged the students to withdraw fast as it was taking a toll on their health. We also shared with them details about the renovation of the Hindu Hostel and invited the PWD officials, who are supervising the work, to talk to the students," he said.
Hindu Hostel was closed for repairs in 2015
Vice Chancellor Anuradha Lohia said the "ball was in the court of Public Works Department (PWD)" and every effort was being made to keep the hostel ready by November 15 with all safety guidelines in place. The Hindu Hostel was shut down for repairs in July 2015 and 150 boarders were shifted to a rented accommodation at New Town.