Students win battle against varsity with Gandhigiri

Had sought 24x7 access to library

Students win battle against varsity with Gandhigiri

A poster pasted by students at Punjabi University on Saturday. Tribune photo

Karam Prakash

Tribune News Service

Patiala, December 14

After getting an extension in the girls’ hostel timings in October this year, students of Punjabi University have won another battle of getting 24x7 access to Bhai Kahan Singh Nabha Library. Unfortunately, the protest held in September took an ugly turn as many incidents of violence were reported during that time.

However, this time it was all peaceful.

Earlier, the protest continued for over four weeks in which several students got injured and cases were registered against them. However, the students changed their strategy this time and raised their demand in a peaceful and democratic way.

Notably, hundreds of students, under the banner of Sanjha Vidyarthi Morcha, staged a peaceful night-long sit-in called “Occupy Library” in the library itself on Thursday. Displaying placards in favour of their demands on the entire campus, the students were successful in getting round-the-clock access to the library. Earlier, the library used to close at 9 pm.

Sources revealed that the authorities had initially agreed to allow the access up to 11 pm, however, the students didn’t yield and continued their protest. Finally, on Friday evening, authorities accepted their demand. However, educationists believe the decision should have been taken much earlier.

Moreover, as a safety measure for girls’ students, the university authorities will appoint two security guards and four restorers to make at the library. Besides, an additional bus service, especially for girls, will be provided at late midnight.

Sandeep Kaur, a member of the Punjab Radical Students’ Union, “Earlier, the students had to fight for the timings of girls’ hostel and now again they fought for their rights. It was unfortunate that an institute of higher education didn’t have round-the-clock access to the library. Limiting the access was anti-student.”

Another student, Vikram Baggi, said, “We had only one thing in our mind when we started the protest and that was if want to study, we have to fight for it.”

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