Student organisations join hands on Assam Women's university issue
• Various student organisations came together to protest against AWU issue
• Several protests and demonstrations were carried during the past week in Guwahati
• NSUI, AASU, AGSU, Chatra Mukti Sangram Samiti and SFI joined the protests among others
• They have demanded a permanent VC and staff members for AWU
• Student bodies have also called for AWU to be given the status of a full-fledged university
Members of various student organisations are up in arms against the state government for its decision to convert Assam Women’s University (AWU) into a technical institution.
Several protests by student bodies erupted in Guwahati after the government decided to relegate the status of the only women’s university in the northeast. Hundreds of students of different institutions and student bodies joined the ongoing agitation which gained momentum in the city during the past week.
They are pressing for their demands to make the AWU a full-fledged university. Students informed that the agitation which began in Jorhat has now spread to various parts of the state.
“Assam Women’s University is the pride of Assam and the northeast which the government wants to reduce to a mere technical institution due to political vendetta.
We will not allow this to happen and will continue the fight till a favourable decision is taken,” probationary national office bearer of National Students’ Union of India (NSUI), Rakid Hussain, told G Plus.
Further, the protesting members of the NSUI conducted a demonstration at Fancy Bazar and burnt the effigies of chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal and state education minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.
Student leaders from All Guwahati Students’ Union (AGSU), Students’ Federation of India (SFI), Chatra Mukti Sangram Samiti, Assam Chatra Yuva Sanmilan and All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) also joined in the protests in Guwahati among others.
Members of AASU staged sit-in demonstrations at the district headquarters in Kamrup (Metro) along with other parts of the state in support of their demands on March 28. Members also informed that they would collect signatures of one lakh people on a memorandum with their demands and will send it to the Prime Minister.
Gyanendra Kalita, member of AASU said, “We have submitted a memorandum of our demands to the deputy commissioner of Kamrup (Metro). The agitation is now being carried out in different districts.”
The student bodies have warned that they will further intensify their agitation on a bigger scale if the government fails to keep the status of the AWU intact as a fully functional university.
Since its inception in 2014, the university has been functioning without a vice-chancellor or permanent faculty members while the vice-chancellor of Assam Agricultural University, KM Bujarbaruah, was appointed as the mentor of the university.
The student bodies have also demanded that the students who have already passed out from the university must be awarded “proper recognised degrees.”
On the other hand, students of AWU have been boycotting classes since the first week of March and took part in a 36-hour long hunger strike in Jorhart.
Gunjan Barman, another student leader from Guwahati informed, “The future of the students will hang in balance till the time a permanent vice-chancellor is not appointed in the university. The government should not be negligent towards the university and must appoint permanent staff too.”
Additionally, former chief minister and Congress leader Tarun Gogoi recently visited the university and extended his support to the students. He tweeted after the visit, “Assam Women's University was one of my dream projects for empowering the women. It is not only a pride of Assam but of the whole country. Assam BJP Govt's decision on AWU exposes the hollow promises of flagship program #BetiBachaoBetiPadhao.”