Karnataka

Stir demanding IIT for Raichur called off

IIT Horata Samiti president Basavaraj Kalasa addressing the media in Raichur on Thursday. PHOTO: SANTOSH SAGAR.   | Photo Credit: SANTOSH SAGAR

Prolonged agitations demanding an Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) for Raichur, which took the form of a well-coordinated movement with strong actions at the district headquarter as well as taluk and hobli centres across the district and paralysed normal public life frequently, was finally called off on Thursday, without achieving its goal.

As a last attempt, the movement leaders led by IIT Horata Samithi president Basavaraj Kalasa and elected representatives from Raichur district, including Raichur in-charge Minister Sharan Prakash Patil, Lok Sabha member B. V. Naik, MLAs and MLCs, had met Opposition Leader in Assembly Jagadish Shettar and Chief Minister Siddaramaiah separately in Bengaluru and urged them to lead an all-party delegation to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking a shift in place of establishing IIT in the State from Dharwad to Raichur. However, both of them categorically turned down the demand leaving the movement leader with no option but to call off the ongoing agitations.

“Both Union and State governments closed the doors for us. It is a historic betrayal meted out not just to Raichur, but to the entire Hyderabad Karnataka region. We will call off ongoing mass agitations and hunger strikes from today and start a legal battle in court challenging the government decision to deny the premier institute to Raichur. We have sufficient grounds to challenge the decision,” Mr. Kalasa said during a press conference in Raichur on Thursday.

The movement leaders, who led 76 days of continued agitation, including 64 days of serial hunger strike, three successful Raichur bandhs, several bandhs at taluk and hobli centres, a huge student-youth conference and 10 days of indefinite hunger strike, were unanimous in pointing their fingers at leaders of all political parties in the district for their non-cooperation, poor involvement and lack of commitment.

“If the district-level political leaders and elected representatives from all the parties had united for the cause and resolutely backed the ongoing movement, the dream of getting IIT to Raichur would have been realised. These political leaders never worked seriously for the cause. It is the failure not of the common people who tremendously rose in the prolonged agitation and built a historic movement of recent decades, but of these toothless political leaders,” Mr. Kalasa said.

The people of Hyderabad Karnataka will never forget the betrayal by all State and national-level political leaders cutting across party lines, particularly Pralhad Joshi, Ananth Kumar, Jagadish Shettar, R.V. Deshpande, and Smriti Irani , who hatched a conspiracy to deprive Raichur of its legitimate right to have an IIT, he added.

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Printable version | Mar 7, 2021 4:18:17 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/stir-demanding-iit-for-raichur-called-off/article7919251.ece

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