Saturday, Nov 26, 2022

Allahabad University Students Continue Protesting Fee Hikes, Threaten ‘Bhu Samadhi’

The movement was initiated as the University authority hiked the fees almost 300% for its undergraduate courses.

Protest at Allahabad University
Protest at Allahabad University Photo: PTI

Allahabad University students demonstrating against a fee hike on Tuesday threatened to take "bhu samadhi" by burying themselves in a pit they dug at their protest site here.

Some of them jumped into the five-foot pit near the protest sit on the university premises and policemen had to pull them out, the police said. Additional police force was also summoned.

The students said their fees have been hiked nearly three-fold, and have been holding protests for several days now. They later planted saplings in the pit.

Adarsh Singh Bhadauria, a student associated with the National Students' Union of India, said they were ready to end their lives to protest the fee hike, but the university administration was firm on its stand of not withdrawing the increment.

Students affiliated with the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad have apprised the chancellor of the Allahabad University about the ongoing agitation through postcards.

In a letter, they said a 300-per cent fee hike has been effected unethically by the university administration, due to which many students would be deprived of education and a request has been made to withdraw it.

ABVP state convener (sports activity) Kartikeya Pati Tripathi said, "Our fight is with the dictatorial vice-chancellor of Allahabad University because their decision (fee hike) is tarnishing the image of the central and the state government."

"I want the government to take suo motu cognizance of this matter and issue a direction to withdraw the fee hike," he said.

One of the protesting students, Satyam Kushwaha said using the force of police and administration, efforts are being made to crush the student's movement. But, the students are not going to be feared by the use of force.

He also said girl students were also involved in the protest over fee hike, but they were not allowed to move out of the hostel.

The fee of Allahabad University for under-graduate courses, which was Rs 975 per year, has been increased to Rs 4,151 per year (by 300 per cent). Students are protesting against the fee hike for the past 16 days demanding that the fee hike be rolled back.

Allahabad University spokesperson Jaya Kapoor said the increased fee will be applicable on students who take admission in the under-graduate courses, and the old fee structure will remain applicable for the old students.