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Assam University impasse ends after 10 days

Silchar (Assam), Feb 20: The 10-day shutdown of



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the Assam University in the wake of an indefinite hunger strike by students demanding withdrawal of the rustication order of a research scholar has come to an end, officials said on Thursday.

The Assam University Students’ Union (AUSU) withdrew their strike on Wednesday night after the authorities “stayed” the rustication order.

The decision was taken at a late night meeting between the agitating students and the varsity administration mediated by local BJP MP Rajdeep Roy.

The authorities rusticated Das, a former president of the AUSU, for two years on February 8 charging him with attacking officials of the central university and other offences.

The protesting students who started the strike on February 10 alleged that action was taken against Das because of his involvement in agitations exposing irregularities in the campus.

Following the meeting, the rustication order served on the research scholar of the Ecology and Environmental Sciences department “will be temporarily stayed with some conditions,” AU Registrar (In-Charge) P K Nath told PTI.

“He can attend required classes but cannot enter the administrative building and hostels,” he said.

He will also have to submit an undertaking that he will not do anything in future against the interests of the university, Nath said.

Das had earlier been barred from entering the campus on seven charges including causing threats to government servants, creating hindrance to office work, damaging varsity properties and insulting the vice-chancellor.

The university administration also lodged a police complaint against him.

BJP Lok Sabha MP Rajdeep Roy who intervened to end the impasse told PTI that the FIR against Das will be kept temporarily inactive and will be withdrawn after a few months if everything remains normal.

Hours before the Wednesday’s meeting, a group of students came to the main gate where the hunger strike was going on and asked the agitators to withdraw their agitation or continue it without blocking the gate, police said.

This led to heated arguments and some students were allegedly manhandled. Both sides filed separate complaints with the police in this connection.

Nine striking students were admitted to hospital after they fell ill and were released later.

With the students sitting in front of the main gate and not allowing anyone including teachers to enter the campus, functioning of the university had come to a standstill.

AU Vice-Chancellor Prof Dilip Chandra Nath had on Tuesday said the convocation scheduled on March 1 has been postponed indefinitely due to the agitation.


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