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Assam Women�s University students continue stir

By STAFF CORRESPONDENT
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JORHAT, March 20 - The protesting students of the Assam Women�s University (AWU) on the Rowriah outskirts here today continued with their 36-hour hunger strike for the second day after a �brief meeting� with the Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal at the Guest House of the Assam Agricultural University here failed to cut ice.

The students, with support from the Jorhat district unit of the AASU, since yesterday noon were carrying out the hunger strike in front of the Jorhat Deputy Commissioner�s office besides the AT Road to protest against the proposed government�s decision to convert the university to a technical institute.

The students were also demanding appointment of a permanent Vice-Chancellor to the university by the government and develop the varsity into a full-fledged one by providing the necessary infrastructure and appointing permanent faculty members and staff.

Sonowal, who was here at the AAU to launch a scheme for the small tea growers, met a group of representatives of the protesting students accompanied by a few teachers for �couple of minutes� at the AAU Guest House after attending the function.

The meeting, however, failed to assure the protesting students with several representatives seen turning emotional and crying after meeting Sonowal. They told mediapersons with tears on their eyes that the Chief Minister did not say anything specific about their grievances. The students decided to continue with the fast till completion of 36 hours which will be at midnight today.

The student representatives said the Chief Minister said the government was working out to keep AWU an institute of higher studies, but he did not divulge anything further on the topic and just mentioned that the interest of the students will be taken care of and their opinion will be taken before final decision was taken.

Jorhat Lok Sabha MP Kamakhya Prasad Tasa and Jorhat district unit of the BJP Santanu Pujari along with the AAU Vice-Chancellor Dr KM Bujarbaruah, had a tough time in pacifying the girl students� representatives as they demanded a written assurance from Tasa about their demands.

The MP assured that later he will be able to give in writing what the Chief Minister said and nothing more than that. The Jorhat AASU district general secretary Jitu Neog said the government was neglecting the issue and playing with the future of the AWU students.

He said that the students� body was providing support to the protesting AWU students for their cause and the central leadership of AASU has been apprised of further course of action to be initiated.

Neog along with Kukil Das (president of AASU Jorhat regional unit) and protesting students alleged that Pujari along with Tasa in the morning had come to meet the protesters and misbehaved with them. However, Pujari has denied the charge and said he was �actually� mistreated by the protesters who shouted at him and the MP.

The president of the Dibrugarh University Post Graduate Students� Union Devid Hazarika appealed to the students of all colleges under DU to protest against the government�s proposed decision to convert AWU into a technical institute tomorrow.

Earlier on March 8 on the occasion of the International Women�s Day, the students had staged a demonstration in front of the Jorhat Deputy Commissioner�s office for the same reasons.

Representatives from the protesting students on that day had met senior Jorhat district administration officials and requested them to take up the matter with the Chief Minister�s office. The administration reportedly assured the student group to approach the CMO on the issue.

The AWU has been running under the support of Assam Agricultural University here with AAU entrusted as the mentor university with its Vice-Chancellor Dr KM Bujarbaruah officiating as the VC for the institute as per the arrangement made by the erstwhile Tarun Gogoi-led government during whose tenure the university was established in an old building of the AAU in 2014.

Chief Minister is the Chancellor or the AWU, which was established after an Act was passed in the State Assembly in 2013.

The University started in a makeshift renovated grain storage facility of AAU and the Vice Chancellor of the University, KM Bujarbaruah was entrusted as the mentor of Assam Women�s University.

The facility houses 15 departments and offers graduate and postgraduate degrees. Two batches of students have already passed out and about 500 are still studying. The teachers are all working on ad hoc basis since the inception of the university.

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Assam Women�s University students continue stir

JORHAT, March 20 - The protesting students of the Assam Women�s University (AWU) on the Rowriah outskirts here today continued with their 36-hour hunger strike for the second day after a �brief meeting� with the Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal at the Guest House of the Assam Agricultural University here failed to cut ice.

The students, with support from the Jorhat district unit of the AASU, since yesterday noon were carrying out the hunger strike in front of the Jorhat Deputy Commissioner�s office besides the AT Road to protest against the proposed government�s decision to convert the university to a technical institute.

The students were also demanding appointment of a permanent Vice-Chancellor to the university by the government and develop the varsity into a full-fledged one by providing the necessary infrastructure and appointing permanent faculty members and staff.

Sonowal, who was here at the AAU to launch a scheme for the small tea growers, met a group of representatives of the protesting students accompanied by a few teachers for �couple of minutes� at the AAU Guest House after attending the function.

The meeting, however, failed to assure the protesting students with several representatives seen turning emotional and crying after meeting Sonowal. They told mediapersons with tears on their eyes that the Chief Minister did not say anything specific about their grievances. The students decided to continue with the fast till completion of 36 hours which will be at midnight today.

The student representatives said the Chief Minister said the government was working out to keep AWU an institute of higher studies, but he did not divulge anything further on the topic and just mentioned that the interest of the students will be taken care of and their opinion will be taken before final decision was taken.

Jorhat Lok Sabha MP Kamakhya Prasad Tasa and Jorhat district unit of the BJP Santanu Pujari along with the AAU Vice-Chancellor Dr KM Bujarbaruah, had a tough time in pacifying the girl students� representatives as they demanded a written assurance from Tasa about their demands.

The MP assured that later he will be able to give in writing what the Chief Minister said and nothing more than that. The Jorhat AASU district general secretary Jitu Neog said the government was neglecting the issue and playing with the future of the AWU students.

He said that the students� body was providing support to the protesting AWU students for their cause and the central leadership of AASU has been apprised of further course of action to be initiated.

Neog along with Kukil Das (president of AASU Jorhat regional unit) and protesting students alleged that Pujari along with Tasa in the morning had come to meet the protesters and misbehaved with them. However, Pujari has denied the charge and said he was �actually� mistreated by the protesters who shouted at him and the MP.

The president of the Dibrugarh University Post Graduate Students� Union Devid Hazarika appealed to the students of all colleges under DU to protest against the government�s proposed decision to convert AWU into a technical institute tomorrow.

Earlier on March 8 on the occasion of the International Women�s Day, the students had staged a demonstration in front of the Jorhat Deputy Commissioner�s office for the same reasons.

Representatives from the protesting students on that day had met senior Jorhat district administration officials and requested them to take up the matter with the Chief Minister�s office. The administration reportedly assured the student group to approach the CMO on the issue.

The AWU has been running under the support of Assam Agricultural University here with AAU entrusted as the mentor university with its Vice-Chancellor Dr KM Bujarbaruah officiating as the VC for the institute as per the arrangement made by the erstwhile Tarun Gogoi-led government during whose tenure the university was established in an old building of the AAU in 2014.

Chief Minister is the Chancellor or the AWU, which was established after an Act was passed in the State Assembly in 2013.

The University started in a makeshift renovated grain storage facility of AAU and the Vice Chancellor of the University, KM Bujarbaruah was entrusted as the mentor of Assam Women�s University.

The facility houses 15 departments and offers graduate and postgraduate degrees. Two batches of students have already passed out and about 500 are still studying. The teachers are all working on ad hoc basis since the inception of the university.

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