SOA Students’ stir: Agitators begin fast unto death

Bhubaneswar: The students agitating at the SOA University’s ITER college campus have begun an indefinite hunger strike today. The students said they have started fasting unto death as varsity authorities are not responding to their situation though their job offers from campus placement turned out to be fake.

“The University vice-chancellor is sitting comfortably in an air-conditioned room focusing on first year admissions. But he has not come down to meet us and discuss our issues yet,” said a student. Another student alleged that they have tried to meet him five times with their agenda but he has not even met them once.

Earlier, the authorities had asked all striking students to confirm choose one of the offers whether to pursue M.Tech or MBA course free of cost or join as teaching assistant with a stipend of Rs 20,000. The varsity has given them a deadline of May 31. But, the protesting parents and students have been asking for the assurance on legal papers which the authorities have not paid any heed to.

Around 50 students, who were selected by Gurgaon-based Huawei during a recruitment drive in the University, found their offer letters fake and returned without getting jobs. The company officials told them that it has not conducted any recruitment drive in the varsity. Not only Huawei, as many as 400 students were also given offer letters from companies like Mitsubishi, Intel and Honeywell that are allegedly fake.

The students thus began a strike in the college since Tuesday evening.