Allahabad University Students Attempt Self Immolation as Fee Rises 400 Times, VC Claims Still Affordable

A day after a student climbed atop a university building with a gas cylinder to burn himself alive, about four more students attempted to self-immolate. The act was foiled by the timely intervention of the police deployed on the spot.

The students of the university are reportedly protesting against an alleged 400 times fee hike at the university. A group of students under the banner of ‘Chhatrasangh Sanyukt Sangharsh Samiti’ are leading the protest and demanding the rollback of the fee hike.

The varsity claims that the decision comes as a move to reduce dependence on the government. In a press statement, the AU administration stated that despite the hike the courses will still remain among the lowest compared to other central universities. According to the administration, after the hike, an undergraduate degree in science will cost Rs 4,151.

Superintendent of Police (City) Santosh Kumar Meena told PTI, “Adarsh Bhadoria who was one of the students staging a protest, attempted self-immolation inside the university campus.” He was stopped from doing so and detained, he said. The police later cleared the area and removed the protestors from the site.

Meena said the university administration has lodged a complaint against some people including university students for disturbing peace inside the campus. Police have lodged a case regarding the incident and initiated an investigation.

The students’ protest has been going on for over two weeks now. Students have received support from several leaders from opposition parties. Supporting the students Vadra said, “The 400% fee hike by the Allahabad University is another anti-youth move by the BJP government.” She added that children from ordinary families from UP and Bihar study the university and “by increasing the fees, the government will take away a major source of education from these youth”.

President of the Samajwadi Party Akhilesh Yadav too supported students. Calling student unions “primary part of democracy”, Yadav said the treatment of university against the protesting students “is a symbol of hopelessness from the BJP government”.

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