Amid the continued protest by the students of Allahabad University (AU) against the fee hike, Sangita Srivastava, the Vice Chancellor, on Wednesday (September 21) stated their complaint was "misdirected" and promised to waive off the complete fee of those belonging to financially poor background and orphaned during COVID-19 pandemic.
The university students have been protesting against the alleged fee hike by 400-times. Earlier, a student protestor also attempted self-immolation on Monday but was contained by the police administration deployed on the spot.
Vice Chancellor's Official Statement
VC Sangita Srivastava shared an official statement through the university's official Twitter handle late at night on September 21. She said the annual fee per student for the past several decades was Rs 975, which is Rs 81 per month. It has been enhanced to Rs 4,151 per year, which accounts for Rs 333 per month.
She said the process had undergone rigorous deliberation and decision-making at several levels of the Finance Committee, Academic Council and Executive Council. An excerpt from the statement read, "What is being spread is that there is a 400-times increase which is not correct. The 30-40 students who have chosen to disrupt the campus by falsehood are trying to ruin the academic environment of Allahabad University. The complaint of the students is misdirected."
Professor Srivastava alleged a concerted effort to mislead the students and spread misinformation, adding that the fee has been increased only to combat inflation which has happened in the past decades.
Another excerpt from the statement read, "Those who are so poor and are orphaned in Covid, I am giving my word, the university shall waive the entire fee for them."
Administration Threatening Protestors To Run Bulldozer
Some protesting students have been claiming that the district administration is threatening them to run a bulldozer over their houses to end their agitation.
According to NDTV, Akhilesh Yadav, the vice president of the AU student union, told reporters, "The district administration is threatening to demolish (our) houses by sending a team of Prayagraj Development Authority (PDA) to end the movement."
Further, Ajay Yadav Samrat, the Samajwadi Chhatra Sabha leader, said, "Today is the 16th day of the agitation against the fee hike. The university administration is constantly threatening to cancel our degrees. At the same time, the PDA team is being sent to the homes of students, and family members are being asked to call back the protesting students; otherwise, our houses will be demolished."
Also Read: Allahabad University: Protest Continues Over 400% Fee Hike, Student Attempts Self-Immolation