A section of students of the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, on Monday boycotted the institute's annual convocation ceremony that was attended by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Expressing solidarity with social activist Anna Hazare, they demanded the tabling of the Jan Lokpal Bill, drafted by the civil society representatives, in Parliament. One of them even refused to receive his M. Tech degree certificate in protest.
“We strongly condemn the widespread corruption that afflicts our country right now and fully support Anna Hazare and his crusade to put an end to corruption. This is our humble way to express solidarity with Anna's movement. Around 30 students are joining us today at the demonstration platform,” Ritesh Singh, a third year computer engineering student, said.
A demonstration platform was set up outside the campus. A march by the protesting students into the campus was stopped by the police.
Ritesh claims to be on fast since when Mr. Hazare began his fast. He is resolved to continue with the fast till Mr. Hazare does.
The agitating students carried banners and placards that said, “Anna Hazare. We are with you.” Sashi Shekhar Singh, the student who refused to accept his degree, said a group of students planned to wear Nehru caps at the convocation ceremony as a sign of protest.