ANDHRA PRADESH

Impasse in AU continues

VISAKHAPATNAM NOV. 24. No solution is in sight to the impasse over functioning of Andhra University with the authorities forcing the students to vacate the hostels on Sunday.

Following the decision of the administration to close the campus and all the professional and affiliated colleges from Saturday, a negotiated settlement to the students' demands looked remote in the near future.

The students, who declared their resolve to stay put in the hostels, on Saturday were forced to change their stand within 24 hours with several wardens and professors deputed by the Vice-Chancellor, Y.C. Simhadri, locking up the hostels after disconnecting power and water supply.

Only at Nagarjuna and a few other hostels, locks could not be put up with some students declaring that they would like to make preparations for their semester examinations even without the availability of food and power in the hostels. Sources said the authorities had decided to evict these students by Monday morning.

Even as the State-level leaders of various students' organisations declared that a three-member educationists' panel set up by the Government would visit the campus on November 28 on a fact-finding mission, the visit is likely to be postponed with the closure of the hostels. Earlier, the Government named the Chairman of the Andhra Pradesh State Council for Higher Education, C. Subba Rao, as the inquiry officer. However, sources said, he expressed his reluctance to launch a probe into allegations levelled against Prof. Simhadri.

The student leaders suspect foul play behind the Vice-Chancellor's decision to close the campus and force the students to vacate the hostels.

``It was a well-calculated move to weaken the agitation spearheaded by all the students' organisations for the withdrawal of undemocratic ciruclars and recall of the Vice-Chancellor,'' the State president of Students' Federation of India, R. Arun Kumar said.

On the other hand, Prof. Simhadri made it very clear that he was forced to close the campus and other colleges as `several outside elements' gained entry into the campus taking advantage of students' unrest.