What started with the anti-liquor protests in Tamil Nadu has spun into a major student versus management face-off in Madras University after ten students who were protesting for nearly two weeks were suspended, along with all classes of the Political Science and Public Administration department.
The students had been protesting against the demotion of Professor Ramu Manivannan, who had earlier refused to divulge the details of students who had participated in the anti-liquor protests. Read about it here. Following this, students of MA and M Phil have been demanding his reinstatement.
Things came to a flash point yesterday after 10 protesting students were suspended and all classes were also indefinitely suspended. Students were asked to vacate the department and the campus with immediate effect. Students would have had to leave hostels too, until authorities relented and allowed some of them to stay back.
â€śSince we have a lot of students from other parts of the country, we did not insist that they vacate their rooms,â€ť registrar P David Jawahar told TOI. Students however say that only some girls and other have been asked to stay back, the ten suspended students have been kicked out. Reports state that out of about 140 students in the department, 40 were from out of the state.
The reason given by the management to suspend students was "causing disturbance by noisy and unruly behavior, disrupting a regular academic activities, indulging in demonstration and demanding restoration of Prof R Manivannan" according to TOI. The students had begun their protests on August 10.
Speaking to The News Minute, one of the 10 suspended students on conditions of anonymity said that the authorities do not want to talk to them and resolve the differences, instead want to strong-arm them into submission. â€śIf they come speak to us properly, it will be sorted out. And they have misled the media by stating they have held one round of talks with us, they have not done it properly,â€ť he says. The student has now been kicked out of college and is living off-campus with a friend.
Students say that this is an assault on their fundamental rights and they will take legal recourse against the University.
Meanwhile, Professor Ramu Manivannan, who was reportedly out on an academic field trip with UG students was unreachable. He is expected to return to the campus today.