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Students go on hunger strike for better facilities at Kalina campus

12 students went on a 24-hour-long hunger strike, demanding redressal of infrastructural and academic problems at Kalina campus; reinstated professor Dr Neeraj Hatekar too joined their protest

A DAY after Dr Neeraj Hatekar’s suspension was revoked, following a 10-hour-long meeting between members from the Management Council and Mumbai university Vice-Chancellor Dr Rajan Welukar, a group of 12 students sat on a hunger strike outside the Kalina campus.

Members of SAVE MU group protesting outside the main entrance of Kalina campus yesterday
Members of SAVE MU group protesting outside the main entrance of Kalina campus yesterday

The protesting students said the purpose behind their agitation was redressal of problems faced by students related to infrastructure and academics. The 24-hour-long strike will conclude by 10 am today. The students, whose group is named SAVE MU, were supported by another group of 25 students and Hatekar, who sat with the students for two hours in the morning before leaving for his lectures.

Dr Neeraj Hatekar joined the protestors for two hours, following which he left for his lectures. Pic/Amit Jadhav
Dr Neeraj Hatekar joined the protestors for two hours, following which he left for his lectures. Pic/Amit Jadhav

Narayan Khuse, an MA student and a protester, said, “Our demands have been forwarded to the Chancellor. Gym facilities, for which Rs 200 is taken as annual fee from students, must commence immediately. The equipment is already purchased and students must be able to avail of the benefits — this is one of our several demands.”

Echoing Khuse’s sentiments, Mahendra Adhav, a PhD student, said, “If our demands are not fulfilled at the earliest, then we’ll go on an indefinite hunger strike outside the campus.” According to university officials, the protesting students have already met the Pro-Vice-Chancellor Dr Naresh Chandra and Registrar Dr M A Khan on January 11, and the charter of demands is already with the university. They added that the higher authorities have planned to meet the students today to discuss the pending demands.

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