Support from the student community continues to pour in for farmers from Tamil Nadu protesting at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi. Following an agitation by a section of students in the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University in Coimbatore, the institute was forced to close indefinitely.
The Dean of agricluture Dr.S.Mahimairaja issued a circular on Monday following protests in the University campus. Students had conducted a demonstration against the alleged neglect of farmers and demanded that farmer loans be waived. In addition to this, slogans were raised against the Centre and state government. Students also raised slogans against the Centre's nod for the Hydrocarbon project at Neduvasal, despite the opposition of local villagers.
The circular issued stated that, "Due to the prevailing unrest among the students, Tamil Nadu Agriculture University declares indefinite closure of the I, II & III year undergraduate degree programme,i.e, BSc Agriculture, BTech Horticulture, BTech (AIT), BTech (Biotechnology), B.S (ABM), with effect from 3.4.2017." The institute further advised students to vacate the hostels. "All the UG students of I,II & III Years are requested to vacate the respective hostels before 8.00pm on 3.4.2017," the circular says.
K. Ramasamy, Vice-Chancellor of TNAU, told The News Minute that the university was not against students protesting for the cause, but it had to be done after obtaining permission from the authorities.
“No permission was sought. Unlawful assembly within a campus will not be allowed. Nevertheless, we allowed the protest for a whole day and ensured that it did not spill out of the gates. But when students came to inform us at 6 p.m. that they wanted to continue the protest indefinitely it could not be permitted. Hence, I have announced an indefinite closure for the first, second and third year students,” the Vice-Chancellor added.
Students, who did want to be identified, said that they wanted to support the farmers’ cause and also the hydrocarbon issue. Though they left peacefully after the announcement of the indefinite closure they have plans to continue show of support once the university reopens.
Students claim that since more than 70 per cent of the protestors were girls, the university was not willing to permit the protest to continue through the night.
The protests in the University comes soon after Law students from a Chennai Government college held demonstrations to show solidarity with the farmers. They stood on railway tracks to stop EMU trains at the Fort railway station.