Students call off stir as JU appoints new DSW after Div Com’s intervention

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, Apr 20:  Due to adamant attitude of the Vice-Chancellor,   Divisional Commi-ssioner Jammu had to once again intervene into the affairs of Jammu University and get the order issued for replacement of Prof Satnam Kour as Dean Students Welfare this afternoon following which the protesting students ended their indefinite hunger strike and called off the month long agitation.
On the direction of Divisional Commissioner Hemant Kumar, Additional Deputy Commission Jammu, Dr Arun K Manhas personally visited the University campus and got the order issued, according to which, Prof Parmeshwari Sharma has replaced Prof Satnam Kour as Dean Students Welfare.
Later, the ADC along with Registrar Dr Meenakshi Kilam visited the protesting students, who were on indefinite fast near the Vice-Chancellor’s Secretariat, and apprised them about conceding of their demand.
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Following this, these students led by Abhinandan Sharma, ended their three-day long indefinite hunger strike and also called off their month long agitation.
It may be recalled that on March 22, the protesting students had ransacked the DSW office after Prof Satnam Kour had allegedly beaten up a student. The incident had prompted the University administration to order suspension of five students even as the same was revoked later on.
However, the students continued their protest for removal of Prof Satnam Kour as DSW and April 8, they launched an indefinite hunger strike in support of their demand. On April 12, the protesting students gheraoed and virtually locked members of the JU Negotiation Committee for more than seven hours following which the Divisional Administration intervened. After an assurance of the Div Com in presence of Vice-Chancellor Prof R D Sharma that Prof Satnam Kour would be removed as DSW, the students had suspended their hunger strike.
Despite the agreement, the Vice-Chancellor resorted to dilly-dally   attitude in issuing the order on DSW with the result that aggrieved students resumed their indefinite hunger strike yesterday, which was ended today following the intervention of Divisional Commissioner Jammu.
Meanwhile, the Jammu University Teachers Association (JUTA), which was observing a token strike by suspending work for the last three working days in protest against April 12 incident, has expressed it displeasure over the university action over the replacement of Prof Satnam Kour.
The JUTA has also asked the new DSW not to accept the post before consulting the Teachers Association.
“The University administration has not been trustworthy in its dealings with JUTA. It has not shared vital information with JUTA for example with respect to Prof Satnam Kour’s resignation and the fact that orders had been issued relieving her of her post.  Therefore, the JUTA has asked the new Dean Students Welfare designate not to accept her post before consulting JUTA. Given this display of bad faith JUTA will carefully monitor developments in this regard. Should the JUTA discover that the University is dragging its feet on these issues or should there be any other incident that vitiates the academic atmosphere by any person or group of persons, the JUTA will not hesitate to rethink its options,” said Prof K S Charak, JUTA president, while addressing a press conference on the campus..
Claiming that in view of the unprecedented situation in the JU where dignity and security of teachers had been severely undermined, the JUTA had called for a token strike, Prof Charka sought assurances from the University administration that it would restore the conditions under which members of the faculty could serve with dignity and without fear.
He also demanded that persons who were responsible for the wrongful confinement of teachers and other acts of violence would be brought to justice and dealt with as per provisions of the University rules in a time-bound fashion.
“The JUTA   is extremely conscious of the role of the University and particularly the University teachers in our society and the decision to go to strike was taken with a heavy heart. It was only when the VC gave assurance to the teaching community, we decided to suspend our agitation temporarily,” he added and appealed to all stakeholders to restore the academic environment in the campus so that this institution is able to reach greater heights.