Jamia hunger strike enters eight day. Does anyone care?

Students have been protesting for restoration of a students’ union.

WrittenBy:Sahla Nechiyil
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At a time when students’ activism is being suppressed by university administrations, students of Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) have been carrying on their fight for an elected students’ union for years now. JMI’s students’ union was banned in 2006 and considerable efforts have been put in by students to lift the ban ever since.

However, these protests which pick up pace only during students’ union polls every year and die down later, has gained momentum this year. Students have now resorted to hunger strike as a last-ditch attempt to bring back the students’ union in their campus.

On October 5, hinting at a larger movement, hundreds of students marched to Vice-Chancellor Talat Ahmad’s office and submitted a memorandum demanding the restoration of students’ union. As the administration failed to meet their demands, students went on a hunger strike on October 25. “The administration is looking for an escape route by stating that the case regarding students’ union is sub-judice before the Delhi High Court,” protesters have alleged.

While the varsity administration agrees with students’ demand ‘in principle’, they cite legal hurdles in holding students’ polls in JMI. The reasons include two petitions which are currently pending with the Delhi High Court. As the protest escalates, the V-C appealed to the “handful of students” sitting on dharna asking for union election to call off their protest and come for talks to resolve the issue that was sub judice.


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