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After meeting the VC, Registrar, "The strike will continue unless Milon Das' rustication is revoked," Students' Union 

As reported by Barak Bulletin, vice-chancellor of Assam University Silchar, professor DC Nath along with registrar-in-charge PK Nath and other officials invited the Students’ Union for a discussion with regards to the ongoing strike. The Students’ Union accepted the invitation and met the authority at Cachar College in Silchar. 

The Students’ Union revised its demand and placed the new ones in front of the authority. Their demands are, 1) Withdrawal of rustication order against Milon Das. 2) Withdrawal of FIR against Milon Das. 3) No further actions against the agitating students. It is worth mentioning here that the Students’ Union’s earlier demands included the resignation of VC which they have removed from the newly submitted one.

The authority asked the Students’ Union representatives which included president Biswarup Bhattacharjee, General Secretary Aritra Babai Dhar among others, Research Scholar Forum representatives to list down the issues one by one and the authority will propose a solution for each.

The first issue listed was that the authority must issue a show cause before rusticating a student. “VC, registrar-in-charge agreed to it in principle, however, they added that the matter must be placed before the EC for a decision,” said a student who was present in the meeting.

The second issue that was listed by the students was that the authority must take disciplinary actions against students based on incidences that took place before March 2018. To which the administration, as per sources replied, “No further action based on incidences of past agitation shall be taken against students provided the students already involved in past incidents of agitation/misbehaviour does not repeat it again in future. This shall not be applicable for disciplinary action already taken.”

Then the students listed that the administration must meet the students on hunger strike once the agitation is over. The source in the meeting said that the authority agreed to meet the students. The authority said, “A team of University officials consisting of teachers and administrators shall meet with students on hunger strike once the agitation/hunger strike is called off and normalcy returns.”

The students then delved into the issue of research scholar Milon Das’ rustication and said the authority must revoke the same. The authority, as per our source was clear in its stance. According to the source, they said, “There has not been any appeal till date from Milon Das for review of the rustication order. On the other hand, the Executive Council held on February 15, 2020, has confirmed the action taken against Milon Das. Only on receipt of written appeal and commitment for not to commit such act in the future, the matter may be considered for review.”

The students then asked the authority to withdraw the FIR lodged against him, “As per provision of the CrPC there is no provision of withdrawal of an FIR. However further legal views on the matter shall be obtained,” the authority replied to the students.

After the issues were discussed and solutions were proposed, the authority asked the students if they would call off the strike on these grounds. The students took time to discuss within themselves the students informed their stance to the authority and returned to the University.

General Secretary of the Students Union, Aritra Babai Dhar said after the meeting, “We were clear that we will only discuss withdrawing the ongoing strike once the rustication is revoked. We reiterated it today that the strike will continue unless the rustication against Milon Das is revoked.”

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