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Mass student protest at HNLU call to follow HC judgment and terminate VC, reform hostel rules

HNLU students call for freedom after VC tenure impeached by HC
HNLU students call for freedom after VC tenure impeached by HC

Large numbers of HNLU Raipur students have been assembled overnight since 10pm yesterday outside of college, following the high court’s ruling that the 2014 extension of their vice chancellor’s tenure had been made illegally, as we had first reported yesterday.

The students, employing the hashtag #HNLUkiAzaadi on social media, are calling for the administration to “respect” yesterday’s judgment of the Chhattisgarh high court and “not allow Dr Sukh Pal Singh to continue as the VC of the university, as his appointment has been found to be illegal”.

“In light of the judgment of the of Dr Avinash Samal vs State of Chhattisgarh & Others, pronounced on 27.08.2018, Prof Dr Sukh Pal Singh has no legal or moral authority to continue as the Vice Chancellor of [HNLU],” the students submitted in a written notice to of demands.

“The Student body humbly requests you to officially acknowledge that as a consequence of the above mentioned judgment, Prof Dr Sukh Pal can no longer occupy the Office of the Vice Chancellor of the University.”

Student concerns in this could include Singh potentially appealing the high court verdict to the Supreme Court and in the meantime continuing to serve out the remainder of his five-year term until 2019.

According to one student source, 80% of HNLU students have been participating in the protests, which also call for reform of the hostel arrangements, with allegations ranging from discriminatory policies and personal vendettas against students by wardens who are also professors.

In particular, students have called for the administration together with the Student Bar Association (SBA) to reform the hostel rules in order to:

  • implement hostel timings and curfews equitably across both male and female halls of residence,
  • appoint independent wardens to the hostels who are not associated with academic or similar activities.

Students have given the administration a 10-working-day deadline to respond in writing.

We have reached out to Singh for comment yesterday and again today. He said he would not comment until he’s had a chance to study the high court’s judgment.

Of course, there is no guarantee that even if Singh departs the state government would appoint someone the students would prefer, with a case in point being the current stalemate in the administration at NUJS under its interim VC Amit Talukdar after the resignation of unpopular VC Ishwara Bhat.

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