Students at NIT Silchar have entered the fifth day of their hunger strike, which was initiated to address their grievances following the tragic death of a third-year electrical engineering student, Kok Buker, who was found dead in his hostel room on September 15. The students have raised various demands during their protest, with a primary focus on the removal of Dean (Academics) Dr. B K Roy, whom they accuse of harassing several students and holding responsibility for Buker's death.
The situation took a serious turn on Thursday when ten protesting students were admitted to the hospital after fainting, and one student, Harsh Kumar Singh, is reported to be in a critical condition. Responding to the students' demands, the authorities temporarily removed Dr. Roy from his position and replaced him with Dr. Lalit Kumar Saikia, PTI reported.
Despite this concession, the students continue to hold their ground, insisting on further actions. They have urged the college administration to file an FIR to ensure a thorough investigation into Buker's alleged suicide. Additionally, they demand comprehensive support, both financial and legal, for the deceased student's family.
Furthermore, the protesting students seek assurance that they will not face disciplinary actions from NIT authorities or legal consequences from the Cachar district administration for their participation in the protest. They have called for the establishment of a high-level committee to bring about academic reforms aimed at reducing the academic burdens on students and safeguarding their mental and physical well-being.
In response to these developments, NIT Silchar Registrar K L Baishnab has stated that the authorities are actively engaged in discussions with the students and providing counseling regarding their academic progress and future prospects.
Meanwhile, Kamriganj Lok Sabha MP Kripanath Mallah has joined the conversation by writing to Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, urging him to intervene in the matter. Mallah has requested the introduction of the 'free-entry-exit' system, as outlined in the New Education Policy (NEP) 2020, at NIT Silchar to alleviate the students' concerns and address the academic pressures they face.