The vice chancellor of the Hidayatullah National Law University in Raipur on Sunday asked protesting students to call off a proposed hunger strike beginning October 1. In a letter to the protesting students who have been demanding his removal, Sukh Pal Singh threatened to suspend classes sine dine.
“If the students do not call off the protest by the said date, the university shall be compelled to take appropriate course of action, including closure of the university to restore normalcy,” Singh wrote. The students have been protesting since August 27 against hostel curfews and restrictive library timings, alleged sexual harassment by teachers, harassment by hostel wardens and the administration’s mismanagement of state grants.
In September, the varsity reinstated Singh after the Supreme Court stayed the Chhattisgarh High Court’s order against extending his term.
In his letter, Singh said that soon after he rejoined on September 25, students began to ask for his resignation and handed over a no-confidence motion to him. He said the students gave him a 48-hour ultimatum, after which they handed over a memo of “no-recognition” as vice chancellor.
“None of your activities is in accordance with the law,” Singh wrote. “All these activities...are in defiance of the order of the Supreme Court of India. Your protest is an act to defeat the purpose of the stay order of the Supreme Court and might also amount to contempt of court.”
The vice chancellor claimed that the protest has damaged the image and academic environment of the university, “despite the fact that the majority of students are in favour of restoring normalcy”. Singh claimed that not just university students but outsiders had now began to join the demonstrations. “In these circumstances the university appeals to all the students to call off the protest immediately and resume their classes on Monday,” he added.