Delhi University students demand waiver of non-tuition fee during pandemic period

Around 15 students have been protesting at Arts Faculty since July 12 for waiver of electricity/water fee, cultural fee, NSS fee and other facilities that students haven’t availed in last year

Delhi University students demand waiver of non-tuition fee during pandemic period

Garima Sadhwani

Delhi University students have been protesting against the administration, demanding waiver of the non-tuition fee that the students have to pay each year. This includes electricity/water fee, cultural fee, NSS fee and NCC fee, and all the other facilities that the students haven’t availed in the last year.

The students had sent a letter to the Vice-Chancellor, Chancellor and Visitor of the varsity on July 2, but when there was no response for over a week, 15 students sat on a Satyagraha protest at the Arts Faculty on July 12.

Aaftab Alam, a DU student, said, “On the first day of the protest, the security tried to shoo us away. But when we didn’t budge, 70-80 men in civil dress came and started abusing and thrashing us in an attempt to disperse our protest. They also lodged FIRs against us on July 16 when we burnt the fee structure in front of the university.”

Alam added that it is unfair to expect students to pay such huge amounts even though they don’t have access to any resources. He recalled that a LSR student last year died by suicide due to this very reason.

The students are upset with the Dean of Welfare as well, who in a meeting with them, told them clearly that neither he nor anyone else in the university would be able to help their cause. Alam said, “The Dean hasn’t said anything about the way we were manhandled in the protest, or the main issue itself. If he cannot do anything, why is he even at that post?”

The students are also demanding that the VC of the university give them an account of where the money that was saved because the colleges were closed was used, or will be used, because “his silence is raising suspicions,” said Alam.

Now, the students plan to sit on an indefinite hunger strike after Eid al-Adha.

No other student organisations have come up in support of the protesting students yet.

Alam also mentioned that the students have approached Delhi MLAs Dilip Pandey and Aatishi, Deputy CM Manish Sisodia and CM Arvind Kejriwal to speak up in support of their cause.

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