They demand withdrawal of action against research scholars

A section of Madurai Kamaraj University (MKU) students took their month-long protest to literally great heights on Wednesday by staging a demonstration atop the Nagamalai hills at the backyard of the university campus.

Speaking over phone from the hillock, one of the protestors J. Arun said that they had no choice but to climb the hillock as the university administration was using the police force and non-teaching staff to quell their protests on the campus.

“We have planned not to get down at all until the university gives an unconditional written undertaking to withdraw the punitive action initiated against three research scholars including me. We are ready to stay atop this hillock even overnight,” he said.

Collector L. Subramanian said that he had instructed the Revenue Divisional Officer and Superintendent of Police to look into the issue. “I was told that some policemen tried to prevent the students from climbing up but it could not be done due to the vast area and thick growth of thorny plants on the hillock,” he said.

When contacted, MKU Vice-Chancellor Kalyani Mathivanan said that the research supervisors of Mr. Arun and Mr. C. Pandiyarajan had refused to guide them. Hence, the university had found alternative guides for them and decided to permit them to use the lab facilities in MKU.

The university had also agreed to permit the third research scholar Eswari Pandaranayaka to continue her post doctoral research if she had obtained exemption from a rule which states that candidates cannot pursue post doctorate studies in institutions where they had obtained doctorate.

“Nothing more”

“We have gone out of our way and done so much to protect the academic interests of the students. What more do they expect from us. Honestly, it is beyond my grasp. We cannot help them if they have some hidden agenda. This is academics. Not some game,” she said.

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