Academicians, writers and members of social organisations, opposed to the Government's decision to allot 80 acres of land on the Kannada University campus to the Sri Krishnadevaraya Punaschetan Prathisthan, scored a major victory with Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa announcing in the Legislative Council on Thursday that the decision had been rescinded.
Teaching and non-teaching employees of the universityhad also strongly opposed the move, and heads of all departments, directors of study centres and others holding additional charge had tendered their resignations.
M. Kotresh, professor, Department of Epigraphy and member of the prathisthan, resigned, while research students of the university launched agitations.
The controversy took a new turn with the disclosure that Vice-Chancellor A. Murigeppa had agreed to transfer the land. Employees of the university then decided to demand the resignation of the Vice-Chancellor.
Most of the university staff apprehended that the Government's decision would threaten the university's autonomy and they also saw it as an attempt to “saffronise the campus”.
The Chief Minister's announcement that not an inch of university land would be handed over to the prathisthan was welcomed by the university employees.
“I welcome the decision of the Chief Minister,” Mr. Murigeppa's said. T.R. Chandrashekhar, Dean of Social Science, also hailed the Chief Minister's announcement. Mr. Chandrashekar wanted the University Syndicate to adopt a resolution withdrawing the approval given at the meeting on January 30.
Enquiries revealed that before the Chief Minister made the announcement the university employees heckled the Vice-Chancellor for keeping everyone in the dark about the approval given to transfer the land and urged him to tender an apology to the people of the State.