One day after a ruckus broke out at the MIT College of Engineering in Kothrud over the alleged manhandling of a Akhil Bhartiya Vidya Parishad (ABVP) member by the college administration, the ABVP activists have called a hunger strike and demanded the resignation of the institution’s trustee.
On Wednesday, a student, Sadhana Rajkumar Ranjankar, approached the MIT administration, along with her parents and ABVP activist Mohit Gandotra, asking for admission to third-year engineering, which she had been denied despite being a student of the college. The issue was over a caste validity certificate which Ranjankar had failed to submit, owing to which the college not only took open category fees from her but allegedly denied her admission to third-year. Ranjankar who had approached the Aurangabad High Court in this regard got a court order in her favour with which she approached the college authorities. However according to her statement to Erandwane police, the ABVP activist accompanying her was beaten up by the college staff.
The ABVP activists who have pitched tents outside the college have made four main demands. “We want Mangesh Karad, trustee at MIT Group of Institutions, to be booked under the Atrocity Act. We also want him sacked from the post and the college administration should issue a public apology for the incident. We demand that the procedure for caste validity certificate which takes 3-4 years should be completed within 6 months so that the students of reserved category do not face harassment by colleges. Also, we demand the government make provision to take action against the person concerned if the caste validity certificate is not validated within 6 months,” said Pradeep Gavade, secretary, ABVP Pune.
He added that nine members of ABVP would sit on an indefinite hunger strike and other members would continue a chain hunger strike till demands were met.
Mangesh Karad said the court order was not shown to the administration until Wednesday evening.
“The girl has been studying in the college for two years. According to rules, she is needed to submit the caste validity certificate which we asked for. She wants to get the fee benefit. So what was our fault in asking for the certificate? Yet as soon as she showed the court order, we agreed to give her admission and sit for exams. We don’t know why it is not acceptable to them. We have not manhandled her or anyone else. These are all stunts by the ABVP to gain public attention,” said Karad.