A group of students who are organisers of the Kerala University Youth Festival gheraoed university pro Vice Chancellor Dr N Veeramanikandan on Thursday for allegedly not releasing funds to conduct the festival.
The five-day youth festival of the Kerala University began on Monday in Thiruvananthapuram. Students blocked the Pro VC at his room in the University at around 4pm and released him after an hour. The organisers alleged that the VC Prof P K Radhakrishnan, didn’t disburse the funds for the festival on time, which led to trouble.
University union General Secretary Amal R told The News Minute that they had written to the VC many times to release the funds, but he ignored it. “He agreed that the money will be released soon, but it didn’t happen. He was making excuses to delay it. The University fund for conducting the festival is Rs 10 lakh. That is not sufficient to conduct a festival like this and the rest we are mobilising from advertisements. For the ongoing festival, the university has released only Rs. 2.5 lakh till now,” he said.
Students' Federation of India Thiruvananthapuram district president Pradin Saj Krishna said that it was the VC who delayed the fund release and since he was out of station, they were forced to gherao the Pro-VC. Former legislator and CPI (M) leader V Sivankutty was with the students when they gheraoed the Pro-VC. The students released him after an hour, reportedly after he signed a cheque to release the fund.
The rift between the VC and the Student’s Union has been existing for a while. The VC and the Pro-VC didn’t attend the inaugural function of the youth festival alleging that the organisers didn’t follow protocol while including their names in the list of speakers.