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29 Feb 2024, Edition - 3152, Thursday

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Avinashilingam protest intensifies despite rain

Covai Post Network


Students of the Avinashilingam University continued to protest, along with faculty, for the second consecutive day despite heavy rain, here on Wednesday. It was to show their dissent against the management that it was taking efforts to convert the institution into a self-financing one.

As many as 1,000 students gathered in front of the University campus raising slogans against the management for “illegally appointing T.S.K. Meenakshisundaram as the Chancellor of the University against University Grants Commission norms”.

According to a faculty, the appointment of Meenakshisundaram as the Chancellor itself was against the norms, which stated that no member of a Society or Trust that managed an institution could be appointed as the Chancellor. Mr. Meenakshisundaram is a member of the Avinashilingam Education Trust, which manages the institution.

The students and the faculty also alleged that the management was refusing to comply with the Ministry for Human Resource Development (MHRD), and the UGC to remain an aided institution.

“If the institution is converted into a self financing one, our salary would be hit including the fee structure for the students and pension of the retired staff,” said a faculty.

It may be noted that the faculty and students had been protesting from June. Even as the management announced an indefinite leave and closed the hostels too following the protest, the students refused to leave and protested relentlessly against the management.

However, the students alleged that the management went on to threaten the parents of the students and the students themselves saying that they would cancel the admission of the protesting students.

Another student alleged that the some students were manhandled by a non-teaching staff named Iyappan who physically pushed the protesting students. “We even tried to give a complaint with the police regarding the issue, but they refused to take the complaint saying that they required the signature of the Vice-Chancellor Premavathy Vijayan. The VC is on the management’s side,” she said.

The students further alleged that the Chancellor Meenakshisundaram had threatened the students that he would upload morphed photos of the girls on social media so as to put them to shame. “We cannot believe that an educated man is speaking so to students,” they added.

The students added that they would not stop the protest unless Mr. Meenakshisundaram stepped down.

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