Staff Reporter

They have been on strike for the last four days

BERHAMPUR: The agitating students of the Khallikote Autonomous College gheraoed the Berhampur MLA R.C.C. Patnaik for several hours on Friday.

Led by the students’ union the students of the college have boycotted their classes and are on strike since last four days. The local MLA Mr. Patnaik went to meet with the agitating students to pacify them for the resumption of classes. But the agitating students gheraoed him and said they would not leave him till they got some definite promise regarding their demands.

The principal of the college, L.K.Patnaik also reached the spot to hold discussion with the students. After discussions the MLA declared that he would initiate the process for the fulfilment of their major demand regarding the transfer of adjacent land under the Orissa State Road Transport Corporation (OSRTC) to the college. It may be noted that efforts were on by the OSRTC authorities to hand over this land to a private company for the construction of a shopping mall. It was felt that transfer of this patch of unused land under the OSRTC was the only means for the expansion of this more than a century old college. The MLA promised that he would request the Chief Minister to hold a meeting between the departments of higher education and the department of transport to sort out the intricacies for the fulfilment of the problem.

The principal promised the students to complete their courses through appointment of teachers on contract. He also added that the semester examinations that were disrupted by the students’ agitation would be postponed till further orders. The students had started agitation for six demands. Their other demands included filling up of vacancies in all departments, closure of self financing courses, starting post graduate courses in geography and sociology subjects, investigation into the spending of UGC funds by the college authorities.