AFTER A major ruckus between the students affiliated with Students For Society (SFS) group and police personnel, Panjab University on Thursday decided to open the reading room in Guru Teg Bahadur Hall for students. It was decided that reading room will be open from 6 pm to 6 am daily for students.
After days of protesting outside the Vice-Chancellor’s office, the SFS students on Thursday broke the doors of GTB Hall of PU when they were interrupted outside the hall by the police. Since Tuesday students of the group have been pressing for various demands, including the opening of reading room in GTB Hall for students.
Seeking the opening of the reading room for the students in GTB Hall, the SFS students marched towards GTB Hall from the V-C office, where they had been protesting day and night since Tuesday, around 2.00 pm. Holding placards and raising anti-administrative slogans, the congregation of students went towards the hall and were interrupted by security personnel deployed outside the hall. After an hour-long scuffle between the students and security personnel, the students entered into GTB hall by breaking the door of the hall.
While addressing the students after entering into the hall, SFS member Harman said, “The demand for reading hall is a very basic demand of students which has been pending for long time. V-C himself inaugurated the reading room in the hall and later converted it for other purpose according to his desire. Now despite the students’ necessity and demand, VC has an ignorant attitude.”
“Actually, this is the reflection of autocratic attitude of the VC. Now the students are left with no other option but to occupy their space themselves,” he added.
After a sit-in inside the hall, Professor Nawal Kishore sought some time from the protesting students as the meeting related to the issue was going on and later told the students that PU has decided to open the reading room in GTB Hall for the students.
“After deliberating on the issue, university authorities have decided to open the reading room for the students,” he said to the students. Amid a half-day-long pandemonium in GTB Hall, the atmosphere turned jubilant after the decision of PU authorities. SFS in its statement said, “Students have once again established that this university belongs to students and not to the ideological and political holds of any regressive forces limiting student movements and space inside the campus.”
The decision to open reading room in GTB Hall for students comes just a day after the PU authorities opened a textbook section in AC Joshi library on the demand of ABVP students. Dean Student Welfare Emmanual Nahar said, “We had invited them to meet us around 4.00 pm today but they did not turn around and chose the path of protest instead of solving the issue on the table. We have accepted the other demands of the students.”
Panjab University has also addressed the other demands of SFS students for which they have been protesting for three days.
PU has decided to open the first floor of AC Joshi library 24/7 for students.
For the demand of cooperative mess, a proposal will be given to DSW for the implementation with the provision of transferring council fund for its initial investment.
An online portal will go live from the next academic session.