NEWS
02/10/2018 3:50 PM IST | Updated 02/10/2018 3:54 PM IST

800 Students Of A Chhattisgarh University Protested Non-Stop Till The Vice-Chancellor Resigned

There were multiple allegations of corruption against the VC of Hidayatullah National Law University.

Aabha Dixit.

On 1 October, 25 students of Hidayatullah National Law University in Raipur, Chhattisgarh went on a hunger-strike demanding that Vice-Chancellor Sukhpal Singh step down. The same morning, five students arranged packets of potato wafers and chocolates on a steel plate and took it to Singh's house, which is on the campus. A card on the plate read 'happy eating, now resign'.

Singh was not at home then and in the evening the same day, he announced his resignation.

Swati Bhargava, a fourth year student and vice-president of the Student Bar Association of the university told HuffPost India, "We wanted shame him for still continuing as the VC. We wanted to tell him, 'so what students are on a hunger-strike, you please eat and if you have shame, resign'."

HNLU student.

The students have brought various charges of financial irregularities against the administration, including funds allocated by the government for infrastructural work and setting up of new institutes within the university. They have also accused the VC of mishandling sexual harassment charges made against professors.

The students had also submitted a six-page no-confidence petition against Singh, detailing all the issues, to Chancellor Ajay Kumar Tripathi, who is also the chief justice of the Chhattisgarh High Court.

The students have protested for 15 days, apart from continuously campaigning on social media for weeks. After one such torch light protest, where students gathered with torches and chanted slogans, several faculty members allegedly accused them of trying to organise a 'lynch mob'.

Considering a new vice-chancellor for the university will be appointed through the same channels as Singh, the students hope that the people in the system know that they are aware of their rights.

"We are hoping that the authorities will take the right decision while appointing a new VC. At least, everyone should know from our protests that we know our rights and are not afraid of fighting for them," Bhargava said.

Meanwhile, the primary complainant in the sexual harassment case submitted a detailed complaint with dates and a list of witnesses to the Internal Complaint Committee (ICC).

She had told HuffPost India that she refused to move the ICC till Singh was removed, as he had mishandled the situation the first time the students had complained. On Singh's resignation, six women submitted complaints of harassment against a professor and 48 students have offered their versions as witnesses.

"We have been told that at least the man will be removed from our section till the inquiry goes on," she said.