Students at the Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law in Punjab’s Patiala on Sunday continued to protest against the suspension of six students. They were suspended on Friday for demonstrating against the quality of food in the hostel mess, The Tribune reported.
A committee constituted of the administrative officer and other faculty took the decision to suspend six students and evict them from the hostel, Bar and Bench reported. The suspension order was passed without a formal hearing and in the absence of Vice Chancellor Paramjit Jaswal. The faculty also reportedly confiscated a mobile phone belonging to one of the suspended students.
The protests against the suspensions commenced at 8 pm on Friday evening. “Upon insisting that fundamental right of privacy are being violated, the faculty shamelessly and unreasonably responded with abuses and stated that the students are in no position to teach them the law,” a statement by the protesting students said.
“All the allegations being levelled by students are false,” National Law University Registrar Naresh Kumar said. “Students were suspended for their indiscipline. They were protesting against the suspension, which was done on the recommendation of the committee.” However, he added that the university was considering revoking the suspensions.
Though the protests against the suspensions comprised candle light vigils, a Rapid Action Force was deputed on campus, Bar and Bench reported. Mid-term examinations are scheduled to begin on Monday, and the suspended students have been permitted to take them. However, they must arrive on campus only 10 minutes prior to the exams, and leave within 15 minutes after they are over.
The protestors also sent an application to University Chancellor Krishna Murari, highlighting problems such as unreasonable library timings, restrictions on the mobility of women and their in-timings, incompetent faculty and indifference to sexual harassment complaints.
Murari was scheduled to meet the students on Saturday, but did not do so. Instead, Justice Mahesh Grover, the third senior-most judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, met the protestors. He is a member of the college’s general council.
“Day 3: This is the third straight day into the protest and our demands haven’t been met,” a student of the college tweeted on Sunday. “The authorities aren’t offering any kind of help. None of them [have] even come to talk to us.”
Students of the National Law School of India University, Bengaluru, have reportedly offered their support to the protestors.