Bhanu P Lohumi
Tribune News Service
Shimla, November 29
The 25th convocation of Himachal Pradesh University was marred by protests by the ABVP and the SFI as the Union Human Resources Development (HRD) Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank did not accept a memorandum of their demands. Union Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs Anurag Singh Thakur also accompanied the minister.
The police had to push them away to pave the way for the ministers. Anger spilled as ABVP leaders described the “indifferent attitude” of the minister as reprehensible.
The HRD Minister was talking about 33-crore youth force of India during his convocation address but could not spare even one minute to accept the memorandum, said ABVP campus secretary Munish Verma.
They were also critical of state Education Minister Suresh Bhardwaj, who did not intervene and let the police rough up the students.
“We wanted to bring our demands like construction of sports hostel, information technology lab in all departments and the construction of permanent campus of Central University but the minister paid no heed and it appears that he was not concerned about the interests of students and educational institutions in Himachal,” ABVP leaders said.
The HPU unit of the SFI staged a dharna to protest the alleged attempt of the HRD Minister to impose anti-education policies across the country and brutal lathi-charge on JNU students.
President of the HPU campus unit of the SFI Ravindra said the students were demonstrating at the gate right from the morning and when they tried to present a memorandum to highlight their demands but the police chased them away.
“Our main demands included restoration of direct elections to the SCA, making the high-powered committee report of fee hike public and keeping the libraries open round the clock but when we were proceeding towards the minister to present the memorandum, police chased the students away,” he added.
Meanwhile, president of the Himachal Pradesh University Teachers Association (HPUTA) president RL Zinta submitted a demand charter to Nishank, Anurag, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur and Education Minister Suresh Bhardwaj regarding the conversion of HPU into Central University.
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