The Pondicherry University Students' Council headed by SFI started an indefinite hunger strike on Thursday and they are still continuing it until their demands for including better infrastructural facilities, rollback of fee hike and free transportation for local residents are met. On July 26, the second day of the strike, the Vice-Chancellor has called all students and research scholars at the varsity for a meeting regarding their demands at 3.30 pm.
However, the students' council members on strike said they haven't received any response directly from the administration addressing them. "We are still continuing the strike and we haven't got any direct response addressed to us. The administration sent a notification to all the students at the varsity about the meeting. We will be attending it, let's see what happens," said Shonima Nelliat, Vice-President, Students' Council.
The students at PU had already begun their hunger strike on July 25 and they said that police came to the campus in the evening asking them to evict from the place where the protestors had set up their camp. "We did not move from there, we have been continuing our hunger strike through the night," added Shonima.
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Prabha Bharathi, a hosteler and research scholar at the varsity said that a few day scholars also joined the protest on Friday and boycotted a few classes to stand in solidarity with the students on hunger strike. "More students have been joining us for the protest. Some of us also agreed to attend the meeting called by the VC. We will decide what will be done next after the meeting," added Prabha.
A Anand, former SFI President and current DYFI Puducherry President said that the VC has stated that he did not get any formal representation letter from the students' council putting forward their demands. However, he added that the council has been sending letter to the administration about their demands for the last two to three months, the recent one being sent on July 22.
"The VC said he didn't get representation from the council, but they have been sending for the past few months stating their demands. Recently, the students' council members submitted a reminder representation letter regarding transportation fee of day scholars," added Anand.
The calls made to the Vice-Chancellor and other administrative officials went unanswered for comments on the issues raised by the students at the varsity.
(This article was originally published on EdexLive)