TAMIL NADU

Students secure mess facility after mass suicide threat

VISAKHAPATNAM, AUG. 21. After an eight-hour-long drama, 200-odd inmates of Vidya Hostel of Andhra University today withdrew their threat to jump from the terrace demanding mess facility. The AU authorities had earlier refused to concede the demand on the ground that at the time of admission they had made it very clear that there would not be any mess facility for self-financed science courses.

During the high drama, students observed fast and went on a slogan-shouting spree against the authorities. To avoid untoward incidents, a large posse of constables led by the Circle Inspector, Mahendra Patrudu, was deployed at the hostel.

As part of the compromise formula initiated by police officials, the Principal of the AU College of Science, K.V. Ramana Murthy, and others agreed to allow the students to take food at the mess of the Arts, Engineering and Law College hostels till a permanent arrangement was made.

Sources said the final decision regarding running a mess at Vidya Hostel would be taken after the return of the Vice-Chancellor, Y.C. Simhadri, to the city on Monday. Several detractors of the VC led by the former MLA, Pinninti Varalakshmi, and the dismissed Professor, Surrapudu, met the students and expressed solidarity with them.

They met the Minister for Commercial Taxes, Konathala Ramakrishna, addressed a press conference, and represented to him on the problems of the boarders.