Silchar, Sep 22 : Amid the indefinite hunger strike by the students of NIT Silchar in Assam, the director of the engineering institute, Dilip Kumar Baidya, met the protesters on Friday and urged them to call-off the strike.
However, the loggerheads continued on the fifth day of hunger strike as the students insisted on a written assurance from the authorities.
Baidya expressed regret to the students for not getting in touch with them sooner and gave them the assurance that Prof BK Roy would be removed from his position as dean of academics soon.
But the students demanded a written statement from the director, saying they will not end the hunger strike until they receive it.
The students presented Professor Baidya with a list of their demands during the hour-long meeting that took place at the new gallery on Friday afternoon.
Following the apparent suicide of third-year Electrical Engineering student Koj Buker, the hunger strike began on morning of September 18.
According to the authorities, Buker’s hanging body was discovered in the institute’s hostel-7 on September 15.
The dean of academics, professor BK Roy, was accused by the students of abetting the suicide.
Students made two demands to the director on Friday afternoon: first, they want professor Roy to resign, and second, they want no disciplinary action to be taken against the students for protesting on campus.
“We sympathise with the family of the deceased student, and we understand your agitation.We apologise for not being able to get in touch with you sooner.Within the following two days, we are prepared to meet the demands,” Baidya told the students.
Meanwhile, the authorities brought some fruit juice along with them and tried to feed the students.However, they said that the students will eat anything only after receiving a written assurance from the director.
“We have survived for five days, we can do it for a few more days,” a protesting student said.
The director told the reporters after the meeting that the authorities are ready to fulfill all their demands and they would meet the students again.
“We feel that the issues have been almost resolved,” he said.
Earlier on Thursday, the registrar of Silchar NIT, KL Baishnab, issued a notice appealing to the students to call-off the hunger strike.
In that notice, he also hinted that the administration might close the institute for an indefinite period if the agitation continues.
The notice mentioned: “We fervently appeal to the students to call off all sorts of agitation and resume the classes as well as other academic activities so that the academic environment of the institute is maintained and the authority is not constrained to close the institute for an indefinite period or to take any stern action.Let us try our best to restore normalcy in the campus.”
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