Foreign team gets trapped in fisheries varsity during stir

SFI locks university gates during flash strike seeking transparency in posting of assistant, associate profs | Delgates later taken out through back gate

Published: 07th December 2019 07:07 AM  |   Last Updated: 07th December 2019 07:07 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

KOCHI: A team of nine foreign delegates who arrived at the Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies (Kufos) to attend a seminar on shrimp farming were caught unawares on Friday when a section of students led by SFI launched a flash strike locking the university gates. The delegates, who had to board a return flight in the evening, had to be later sneaked out through the back gate so that they could go to the airport.

Vice-Chancellor A Ramachandran also had to seek police protection to leave the campus as the protest, which started at 3pm, continued till 6.30pm. While protesters allowed the women staff to leave at 5pm, other employees were held up till the protest ended.

The VC later said the classes will be suspended indefinitely. “Students pursuing the Bachelor of Fisheries Science course launched the protest alleging lack of transparency in the appointment of assistant professors and associate professors,” said Ramachandran.He said they had notified the posts as per UGC (University Grants Commission) norms and the court verdict issued in the matter.

“However, certain students demanded the appointment of candidates of their choice, which is unacceptable. They locked the college gate and did not allow the staff and foreign delegates to leave,” he said.

“Such protests will spoil the reputation of the college. They have affected the conduct of university exams. We have decided to suspend the classes indefinitely,” he said.

Former president of the SFI Kufos unit Vidhu Rajan said the gates were locked as the staff blocked the entry of protesting students into the university building.  “The courses are run in an unprofessional manner, which affect the future of students. We want the university to appoint lecturers with professional qualifications,” he said. SFI unit secretary Akshay Asokan led the protest.


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