Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, May 11
The Panjab University authorities and hostellers are now again at loggerheads over vacating the hostels amid Covid-19 crisis.
The protesting students raised some allegations against hostel wardens, while the authorities maintained that the decision had been taken considering welfare of the students.
According to official figures, over 800 students were staying in hostels till last month. However as on May 11, over 400 are in hostels. “Around 80 to 100 have given their consent for leaving the hostels this week, while over 300 are unsure,” said one of the spokespersons.
The spokesperson said: “The mess facility at girls’ hostels No. 1 and 8, boys’ hostel 6 and the canteen of girls’ hostel 2 are operational.”
Cases had been reported from many hostel buildings and recently, a young attendant succumbed to the virus, sources claimed.
“Today all wardens of girls and boys hostels held online and offline meetings with the residents for counselling regarding safe return to their homes,” said a spokesperson.
Meanwhile, protesting students claimed that a majority of wardens wanted them to go back. A source, who attended the online meeting of wardens, informed students about the discussion.
While addressing the research scholars outside the Administrative Block, one of the student leaders said: “We have been told that during an online meeting, one of the DSWs referred us as students who indulge in hooliganism. The official should resign. One of the sources confirmed that the PU authorities have questioned UT Administration’s stance during the meeting. One of the professors asked the authorities to support us (students) to which all wardens and authorities had opposed. The faculty has been divided into groups. We don’t want to sit here (protesting site) but if any of us gets affected by Covid, the onus will be on the authorities.”
No help from Admn
A few of the PU officials maintained that the UT Administration was not helping them in imposing the orders. “On the one hand, the UT Administration is taking over our hostels and on the other, research scholars want stay. We have been following the Administration’s order and they should help us in getting the hostels vacated. Despite a number of cases in hostels and campus, there has been no news on making containment zones here,” said an official.
UT Adviser Manoj Parida said: “They should write to us about help they need.”
In the meantime, the PU Registrar has now written letters to the SSP and UT Deputy Commissioner seeking their intervention for the safety of students and faculty.
Research scholars held a protest against authorities today. “We made it clear that residential areas should be vacated first. Wardens, guides and chairpersons are literally threatening us. We have already agreed to closing down of AC Joshi Library till May 31. We also made clear that we will act as frontline warriors. We have unanimously decided not to leave the hostels at any cost. The authorities must not call our guides, chairpersons and parents,” stated SFS members.
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