Student protests intensify in Bihar

August 6th, 2008 - 5:29 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Bharatiya Janata Party

Patna, Aug 6 (IANS) Student protests here intensified Wednesday as anger seethed over Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s silence and government’s inability to end the indefinite strike by non-teaching staff of universities and colleges that has paralysed higher education in the state. Hundreds of students staged demonstrations and sat on fasts here.

About 33,000 non-teaching staff of nine universities and 250 colleges went on an indefinite strike from July 1 to demand higher salaries. The strike has crippled the teaching as well as administrative work in the universities and colleges.

Despite the new academic session beginning July 1, all the universities and colleges are closed. It is the first time in the last 10 years when the new session has not started in July, students said.

The angry students led by different student organisations protested Wednesday against the police action on students Tuesday. Some students were arrested and some injured in a police baton-charge, in response to stone pelting by the students.

A group of students led by the All India Students Federation of India (AISF) staged a protest at Rajendra Nagar Terminal here that disrupted train movement for hours. The All India Student Association (student wing of CPI-ML), the National Students Union of India and Chhatra Rashtriya Janata Dal also protested.

The Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the students wing of ruling party ally Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), also protested the police action.

Most of the students told IANS here that what angered them was that the state government has not made any attempt to end the strike. ”The government’s silence is ruining our careers,” they said.

The non-teaching staff of Patna University went on strike June 6, followed by the staff of Bihar state universities June 25. ”The strike in Patna University is around 59 days old, but the government is yet to initiate a dialogue with the striking staff,” students said.

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