A section of students and research scholars protesting for six days

The student-administration standoff in Madurai Kamaraj University took a serious turn on Tuesday with the authorities deciding to suspend classes and close the hostels with immediate effect.

A section of students and research scholars has been holding protests for the past six days demanding revocation of certain decisions pertaining to action against research students and a couple of faculty members.

As both sides stuck to their stated position and the administration did not yield to the agitators’ demand, a decision was taken at 7 p.m. on Tuesday to shut down the seven hostels and suspend classes in all the departments till further orders.

“The university will function. The staff members have to come, but there will be no classes. Students have been asked to vacate the hostels Tuesday night itself,” said Kalyani Mathivanan, Vice-Chancellor.

She claimed that even though the students and research scholars were ready to come to the negotiating table at one stage in the morning, there was a sudden change in their stand when they began demanding reversal of other decisions taken by the Syndicate.

“Police have been informed about the situation,” Dr. Kalyani Mathivanan said.

“If it is an issue concerning students, we are ready to help. But when it comes to faculty issues or the UGC regulations, how can we act against the rules?” she questioned. A committee, headed by Registrar in-charge A. Muthumanickam, has been constituted to hold talks with the protesting students whose main demand is revocation of punitive action against three research scholars and two faculty members and a non-teaching staff.

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