Ravenshaw students put off hunger strike

Cuttack: Ravenshaw University students, on hunger strike since Thursday, suspended their stir for a month today when the varsity authorities assured that their demands would be fulfilled in a phased manner.

"We decided to postpone the hunger strike after the authorities assured us that all our demands would be taken care of within one month," said students union president Harishankar Rout after suspending the strike for the time being.

"We reserve our right to resume the strike after one month if things do not improve," he added.

"The signboard of the university would be in place within four days, adequate classrooms would be available within 12 days after readjusting the office accommodations and the foundation stone for two new hostels would be laid during the inaugural function in May and work is in progress to improve the drinking water facilities were the assurance given to us by the authorities," Rout said.

Varsity registrar Smarapriya Mishra and other officials went to the spot and requested them to call off their strike after making the assurances.

The students` union president, along with six of his associates, had launched the hunger strike in front of the office of the registrar in protest against what they called "indifferent" attitude by the authorities to their 11-point charter of demands, which also included filling up vacant posts of faculties.

Although the state government had already sanctioned about 150-odd faculty positions more than two years ago, the authorities have managed to recruit only a handful of faculties and many departments are now running with skeletal teaching staff.