Student activist Sidharth Sharma,who had been on hunger strike for the last 13 days,protesting against fees charged from reserved category students,called off his strike on Monday evening. Sharma along with the 120 students who were protesting with him have now decided to file a writ petition in the Bombay High Court next week.
Talking about the strike,Sharma said,Even today we had a good half an hour meeting with the state director of the social justice department. But there was no positive outcome as we were not even given any assurance. So I have decided to call off the hunger strike and resort to some legal action against the educational institutions and the state government.
Advocate Milind Pawar,Anna Hazares lawyer in Pune will file the writ petition on behalf of these students.
Keeping his deteriorating health in mind,we have managed to convince Sharma to withdraw the hunger strike on Monday evening. He has been sent for a medical check up. Though it has been 13 days,none of the officials from the social justice department have taken any steps to even look into the issues raised by him. All the scholarships schemes in the state under this department have become a part of a big racket and the money never reaches the beneficiaries, Pawar said.
When contacted,officials from the social welfare department were not available for comments.
While the state government norms allow 50-100 per cent fee waivers to reserved category students,most colleges in the city have been charging tuition fees despite the state social welfare department ordering criminal proceedings against officials of some of these colleges.
However,no action has been taken against the errant colleges.
Most of these 120 students have been waiting for a fee refund for more than three years now.