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Visva-Bharati VC leads hunger strike for stall-free campus

Monday - August 5, 2019 7:42 pm , Category : EDUCATION
Kolkata, Aug 5 (IANS) Amid a standoff between Visva-Bharati University and handicrafts sellers, Vice-Chancellor Bidyut Chakrabarty on Monday led a 12-hour hunger strike demanding early removal of stalls from the varsity land.
Chakrabarty, other teachers and officials of the 98-year-old university, located at the Santiniketan campus in Bolpur of West Bengal's Birbhum district, paid tributes to its founder Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore before staging the protest.
University employees also held a silent protest before starting the hunger strike at a makeshift stage near the gate of the Poush Mela (annual fair) ground, about 165 km north of Kolkata.
According to sources, Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu is scheduled to visit Santiniketan on August 16.
Also, as the varsity scored zero in the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) rating of campus beautification, Chakrabarty wants handicrafts sellers to move to other site.
The university officials had asked the stall owners to remove their makeshift stalls, but they decided to ignore the notice.
The handicrafts workers welfare association has launched a counter-protest. Nearly 140 families, comprising almost 2,000 people, are directly dependent on these stalls for livelihood.
According to them, they will continue to run their stalls until proper alternative arrangements are made.
-- IANS
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