Agitators seek suspension of institute in-charge principal and a lecturer
BERHAMPUR: Government College of Art and Crafts, Khallikote in Ganjam, district was closed down sine die on Thursday due to continuing student unrest.
The authorities had to take the decision, as the students were not allowing the institute to function since last Saturday. Students had also resorted to road blockade and other activities of agitation at Khallikote town during the past five days. On September 17, the sub-collector had to rush to Khallikote to hold discussions with the agitating students as they had kept the town cut off from outside world for several hours due to their road blockade.
On Thursday the Khallikote tehsildar and police officials held discussions with the agitating students to end lock up of the institute by the students. But the talks failed as the students wanted their demands fulfilled first which included demand for suspension of the in-charge principal and a lecturer of the institute. Students alleged that the two were involved in misappropriation of funds meant for the golden jubilee celebration of the institute. The other demands of the students included better amenities at the institute and their hostels.
As the talks failed, the authorities decided to close down the institute sine die. Students were asked to vacate hostels immediately.
The institute, called Khallikote College of Art and Crafts, happens to be the oldest institute of its kind in the State. It celebrated its golden jubilee in July this year. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had declared a special grant of Rs. 2 crores to make it an excellence centre.
Students of the institute had started to allege that funds meant for the celebrations were misappropriated.
On last Friday, an altercation occurred between the in-charge principal and the students at the Ganesh Puja pandal at the institute and the former allegedly damaged the decoration. This led to student agitation from the next day.