Following two months of protest, sitting for 24 hours under a tent on the national highway in front of the campus, the students of fisheries department of Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU) called off their strike on Thursday. Vice-Chancellor V K Taneja and Registrar P D Juyal offered juice to the striking students.
The protest started on June 2 when these students demanded jobs in fisheries department of the state government and it was followed by a series of meetings with political leaders from all parties but without any result.
The students even resorted to a chain hunger strike. The political leaders who made a beeline to meet students in two months included H S Phoolka, MPs Bhagwant Mann and Harinder Singh Khalsa from the Aam Aadmi Party, Satpal Gosain and Surjit Jayani from the BJP, MP Ravneet Singh Bittu from the Congress and others.
The students even met Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal at his residence at Bathinda and later Deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal and MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal, minister of food processing, also met students at PAU.
Alleging that the state government and varsity officials neglected their demand, the students refused to call off their strike till an assurance of government jobs was given. However, the varsity claimed that the students in last year of their graduation did not submit projects and other material in time.
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The strike was finally called off after a letter from the directorate of fisheries, dated July 25, was received by the GADVASU.
Registrar Juyal said, “The letter said that the process to fill vacant positions in fisheries department has been started by the government. It was displayed on the noticeboard following which students approached us and decided to call off the strike. Most of them have applied for masters in GADVASU now.”
Students’ representative Khushwinder said, “Now we will be meeting CM as promised by V-C. For the time being, the strike has been called off.”