Presidency University Students Enter Second Day of Hunger Strike Over Accommodation Problems

Kolkata: An¬†indefinite fast by Presidency University’s students has entered its second day as they continue to protest accommodation related issues at the university. They are currently demanding immediate accommodation in the Hindu hostel which is under renovation right now.

Sayan Chakraborty, one of the agitating students, said the number of fasting students has gone up to ten during the day, and one of the fasting students has fallen sick.

The fast began at the campus portico at 10 pm on Monday, October 1.

This indefinite fast is the latest act in a series of protests that started in August. Approximately 50 students have been camping in the main building’s first floor corridor since August 3, effectively turning the corridor into a makeshift hostel.

Ayan Chakraborty, an activist of students’ body Independent Consolidation (IC), said a part of the corridor of the university building has been turned into a makeshift hostel during past two months and a number of students fell sick staying in open verandah.

He said the students were now being forced to go for fast in the coming festive season as there had been no communication with Vice Chancellor Anuradha Lohia or any university official on the issue in the last couple of days.

The students are demanding that the authorities take the initiative to shift these 50 students into two blocks of the Hindu hostel immediately, Ujan, one of the agitating students, said.

A university spokesman had earlier said, “We had explained to the agitating students that the Hindu Hostel can be thrown open to them only after PWD declares it fit for use after renovation. We hope better senses will prevail.”

The students were claiming that renovation in two of the six blocks of the hostel building have already been completed and they should be accommodated in these two blocks.

The Hindu hostel, adjoining the College Street institution, was been shut down for repairs on July 29, 2015 and its 150 boarders were shifted to a rented accommodation in New Town.

The authorities had last year assured the students that all the six blocks of the hostel would be opened for the boarders after completion of renovation work by the first week of August this year.

In September, the administration had to shift its convocation ceremony to another venue due to the unrest on campus, but has not addressed the students’ demands yet.

(With inputs from PTI)