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More law student hunger strikes - what's going on in Punjab?

Panjab University law school students have called off a hunger strike after several hours as the University caved in to their demands.

The Times of India (TOI) reported today that the Panjab University Student Union (PUSU) and the Hindustan Student Association (HSA) called for a hunger strike to protest against the increase in minimum lectures, to decrease minimum attendance requirements and to reduce the chairman's power.

According to TOI, the students wanted the requirement of minimum lectures in each subject to be reduced from 70 to 33 per cent.

Additionally, the students called for the minimum attendance in an academic session to be reduced to 70 per cent from 75 per cent, allegedly in accordance with the Bar Council rules.

According to the Indian Express the dispute appeared to have come to a head last Friday (8 January) over various issues, including graduate LLM programme reservations for Panjab University students and migration fees to move to the university campus.

An editorial published in TOI today asked whether "Chandigarh cops [are] scared of student leaders", having dropped charges against PUSU leaders who allegedly attempted murder and fired gun shots against a student from another local university last summer.

If all this is true, it sounds like a veritable warzone out in Punjab law school community.

Any thoughts as to what is going on?

And if any Panjab University students would like to elaborate, please get in touch with us. I for one would be interested in hearing the full story behind this.

Last year we also reported on the hunger strikes and four-year battle of students at Hidayatullah National Law University Raipur (HNLU). [SEE NOTE BELOW]

I have received a request from an HNLU student to clarify that the HNLU strikes were organised for a completely different reason and motivation from the Panjab University protests. I would therefore like to state for the record that the two are not directly related except for the fact that both involved hunger striking law students. Apologies for any confusion caused.

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