Striking Forest College students removed by police

Staff Reporter

A second year student swooned and was rushed to hospital

Kongunadu Munnetra Kazhagam wants Government to hold talks with students

Mettupalayam: The police on Thursday removed nearly 111 students of the Forest College at Mettupalayam, including girl students, for attempting to stage a road blockade as part of their strike. Of the removed five included activists of students’ movement.

Students had been on a strike seeking reservation for forest college students completing B.Sc and M.Sc forestry courses in the direct recruitment for the post of rangers in the Tamil Nadu Forest Department. The students had been on a strike since Friday. The students on the first day had a sit in with their mouths gagged with black cloth, then a signing of banner and thumb impression with blood, petitioning the Collector, tonsuring the head and enacting a scene of death symbolising grief.

TNAU authorities on Tuesday ordered the closure of the college along with the hostel and mess, since the strike had entered the fourth working day.

However, the students continued to stage a sit on Wednesday.

No improvement

There were no improvement in the situation on Thursday. Meanwhile, the students left the college campus and came to Mettupalayam six-road junction and attempted to stage a road blockade. The revenue and police authorities held talks even as the students insisted on a concrete assurance. One of the students N. Divya of II B.Sc Forestry swooned.

The girl was rushed to a private hostel. Police removed the remaining students and accommodated them in a nearby Kalyana Mandapam.

Meanwhile, Students Federation of India, District Secretary, Jeevalakshmi has urged the State Government to hold talks with the students to hammer out a solution for “a long pending and justified demand of the students”. It also warned of a district-wide agitation.

Kongunadu Munnetra Kazhagam, students’ wing organiser, M. Loganathan, urged the State Government to hold talks with the students and first withdraw the notification issued by the Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission calling for application for the post of 80 rangers without any reservation for the B.Sc Forestry Students. M. Venkataraman of All India Students Federation urged the Government to look into the demands rather than trying to suppress the agitation being launched by the students for a “genuine cause”.

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