As the indefinite strike at Pondicherry Central University entered the fifth day, police entered the campus Friday and lathicharged the agitating students and professors who are demanding Vice-Chancellor Chandra Krishnamurthy’s dismissal. Several students and professors were also arrested.
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Students, with support from teaching and non-teaching staff, had launched the strike Monday after the HRD Ministry turned a blind eye to allegations against the V-C, including plagiarism, false claims in CV, illegal detention of a postgraduate student and administrative irregularities.
The flash strike, which started with participation of around 1,000 students, grew over the past four days with more students and non-teaching staff joining it. Since the first day, offices and classes have remained shut.
On Friday, a police battalion along with the varsity’s security officers asked the protesters to disperse at once. “When we tried to ignore their demands and folded hands, they dragged us out and beat us with lathis,” said a girl. “On Wednesday, men from outside and a few security officers came and threatened us with rape if we continued the stir. Today we were beaten up by male officers and men from the university management.”
“We feel ashamed of having a corrupt V-C,” alleged N Dastagiri Reddy, general secretary of Pondicherry University Teachers Association, who was taken into custody on Friday.
“This strike will continue till the HRD ministry removes her. We have submitted several representations before the ministry but they continue to protect her,” he added.