Silchar: The indefinite hunger strike led by students of NIT Silchar, which was initiated to protest the alleged suicide of a third-year student has been concluded after discussions with the institute’s Director, Dilip Kumar Baidya, an official said on Saturday.
After their first meeting on Friday afternoon, the Director held another meeting with the protesting students on the same night. During this discussion, he provided written assurance that Dean (Academics) B K Roy would be removed from his post. This commitment led the students to call off their hunger strike. The Director also offered fruit juice to the students as they ended their protest. The hunger strike had commenced on Sunday and resulted in the hospitalization of 10 students, with one in critical condition.
”The Director apologised to us with folded hands and he is like our father. We trust him and respect his assurances, so we are calling off the agitation”, a student Rishi Kant said.
The Director has ”assured us that the Dean Academics will be removed within two days”, Kant added.
During their discussions, the Director gave his assurance that the period of agitation would not be included in the academic calendar, and no student would be marked absent during this time. Initially, the students had insisted on receiving written assurance from the authorities to end their strike. However, they eventually agreed to call off the protest after the entire discussion was video recorded, providing them with the necessary assurances.
“The Director told us that they want to start anew, leaving behind all the issues of the past. They could have prevented violence by talking to the students on time. We don’t want to pressurise, change has to come from both sides,” Kant said.
“The authorities can close the institute for an indefinite period if we continue with the agitation and we don’t want that,” he said.
The students have requested the Director to organize a condolence meeting for their fellow student, Koj Buker, who tragically passed away on September 15 in his hostel room. Initially planned for Friday, the meeting will now take place on Monday within the campus. Registrar K L Baishnab has also issued a notice, appealing to the students to end their hunger strike.
In addition to these actions, the students have written to President Droupadi Murmu, urging the college administration to file an FIR for a thorough investigation into the alleged suicide of their fellow student. They have also requested comprehensive support, including financial, legal, security, and emotional assistance for the victim’s family.
The students have been alleging that Dean (Academics) B K Roy insulted the victim, who had six backlogs in his first-semester examination held in 2021. This led to the students’ protest on the night of September 15, during which they allegedly vandalized the residence of the Dean (Academics), resulting in a police lathi-charge and injuries to 40 students.
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