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Assam University: If locks aren’t removed magistrate is likely to intervene to take legal actions 

The chaos at Assam University Silchar continues. On 11th January several key offices have been locked down by a set of students as a mark of protest against “ill-treatment” on a student by the assistant registrar of the University.

The housekeeping staff of Assam University who are employed by a third-party-private organisation sat on a protest demanding their wages to be released. According to them, their employer did not release their wages while the Assam University students maintained that they have cleared all the bills. On 3rd January Few students stretched their support to the housekeeping staff and their protest.

As per sources, the group of students went to several office-bearers asking about the situation. There are allegations that when a group of six-seven students went to the office of Assistant Registrar, Pinak Pani Purkayastha, he got up from his chair and manhandled one of them. The students demanded an immediate suspension and after it did not happen they decided to lock the office of vice-chancellor, registrar, finance officer and joint registrar (admin).

“This unlawful lockdown should not be tolerated. The administration must take legal action and we are expecting the magistrate to visit the campus tomorrow and intervene immediately. There are several paper works which are stuck because of this lockdown,” said a non-teaching staff on condition of anonymity.

A professor of the University added that getting into the matter of housekeeping staff is not what student unions are for, “They must constructively criticize the administration to benefit student welfare. Getting dragged into an issue which is related to a third-party organisation is unnecessary when there are so many other biting issues in the university,” she said.

On January 14, 2020, the administration issued a general notice appealing an immediate unlocking of the important offices. The notice stated, “The locks have not been opened by concerned students after repeated appeal and direction which has badly affected the normal work of the university. The university is also not able to provide response to queries by Ministry on various issues which are urgent in nature due to search unlawful locking office. It added, “The university is not in a position to comply with the direction of the UGC as per the revised budget meeting which may result in cut of grants affecting overall development activities due to ongoing situation.”

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