NIT Silchar students on indefinite hunger strike demanding resignation of Director & Dean

Silchar (Assam), Sep 18 : Students at the National Institute of Technology (NIT) here began an indefinite hunger strike on Monday in protest of the academic dean's alleged involvement in a student's suicide on the campus premises last week. At least 2,000 students have declared a hunger strike, which began at 7 a.m. on Monday and will last until their demands are met, according to the students. They submitted that Prof. Dilip Kumar Baidya, Director of NIT Silchar, should quit "for permitting the Dean of Academics B.K. Roy to harass students". Koj Buker, a third-year electrical engineering student, was spotted hanging in his dorm room on Friday night. The students asserted that BK Roy, the academic dean, was responsible behind the suspected suicide. Students submitted that until "justice is served," they will keep protesting. "Many students were tormented by professor BK Roy, and Koj Buker was one among them. We vehemently oppose this and we demand Roy's resignation," a student who spoke on the condition of anonymity said. "We are demanding justice, and our protests are democratic. Until justice is served, we shall continue the hunger strike," another student remarked. The kitchens in the dormitories and the mess, according to the students, have been shut down. Additionally shuttered are all of the campus's food stores. One protester said: "We are only taking water and giving ORS to those, getting weak." Four students, including a female, reportedly lost consciousness this evening. "They are now better since we gave them ORS. Even in this state, they did not want to leave the protest area," said one of the students. An official, however, insisted that there is no such thing as a hunger strike and that students are going to their dormitories to get food before returning. "They are trying to draw attention with this hunger strike now because they are aware that they made a mistake in assaulting professors and are now in a vulnerable position. In a few days, things will return to normal," the official said. According to a senior police officer, the demonstration has so far been peaceful and no adverse incidents have been reported. A previous Saturday protest by the deceased's classmates descended into violence, prompting police to use lathicharge, which left 40 people hurt, according to officials. A company of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and Assam police were stationed at the NIT campus following the on-campus fighting on Friday night, and they are still there. Students said that by enforcing laws with the aid of forces and the police, the administration and NIT authorities were attempting to exert pressure on them. Even though they first refused to permit our peaceful candle march, a student declared: "We cannot congregate, and we cannot protest." Three First Information Reports (FIR) were filed against the students. Cachar District Superintendent of Police (SP) Numal Mahatta stated that "no student has been arrested yet and the students offered an unconditional apology", adding that the matter is now under control. Meanwhile, the protesting students insisted that they wouldn't go to class unless their demands were met. /IANS


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