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20 Apr 2018

Agitation at Sikkim varsity

RAJEEV RAVIDAS Apr 20, 2018, Gangtok: Students of Sikkim University on Thursday boycotted classes and staged demonstrations at several spots of the varsity located along NH10 to protest against delay in the construction of the permanent campus of the 10-year-old central institution.

The students have also planned an indefinite gherao of the administrative block of the university from Friday. The university, which came into existence on July 2, 2007, does not have a permanent campus and operates from 40 hired buildings in and around Gangtok. The permanent campus of the university is coming up at Yangyang in South Sikkim, which is 55km from here.

The students said the permanent campus was supposed to have come up within five years of the establishment of the university, but the campus is yet to materialise. "The university presently operates from rented buildings located at different places all the way from Ranipool to Gangtok (which is a distance of 12km). This does not provide us with an ideal ambience to pursue our education, besides causing us great inconvenience," said Sonam Wangdi Bhutia, the secretary of the Sikkim University Students' Association (SUSA).

Bhutia alleged that the university authorities had never been very forthcoming on the reasons for the delay in the construction of the campus. "This time, though, we have decided not to relent till the authorities respond to our queries. We will gherao the administrative block from tomorrow (Friday) till the authorities give us a written response on the reasons for the delay," he said.

Dibyan Lama Khaiba, who is pursuing master degree in zoology, said only the boundary wall and three buildings had been constructed on the Yangyang campus all these years.

"We are told over Rs 100 crore have been spent on them. The university has been without a permanent vice-chancellor for nine months, and the acting VC (Jyoti Prakash Tamang) tells us his hands are tied. We were left with no choice but to take the agitation path," he said.

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