Bhopal: Talks fail, students resume protest

Bhopal: Hopes of the five-day-long standoff between the director of MP School of Drama and the students, that were aroused by the latter attending the morning class on Monday morning, were dashed to the ground by late evening as the talks between the protestors and the officials failed.

The students who have been on strike since Thursday had attended a class on Monday after an assurance by the officials of the culture department that their problems would be solved. However, later in the evening as the talks failed, they resumed their protest and resolved not to attend the classes till their problems were addressed.

What put the students out was lack of basic amenities including drinking water, not getting permission to take part in Asia’s big drama festival ‘Bharat Rang Mahotsava 2019,’ besides others. The students attended the Kathakali class in the morning, taken by expert Prashobh.

Agitating students got ready to attend the class following a talk with deputy director culture, H R Ahirwar on Sunday. After the class, the students refused to attend the next class and waited for the deputy director on their premises. “We attended the morning class to keep the words of HR Ahirwar sir.

We will attend other class after getting solutions of our problems which we mentioned in the letter. He promised us to meet today at 1pm and we are still waiting for him,” said one of the students. Ahirwar who reached school past 2 pm, held talk with the students and told them that senior official have been apprised of the issue, and they are being looked into.

He assured the students that their issues, which they have mentioned in the letter, will be resolved at the earliest. Ahirwar also promised the students to meet them again in the evening. The students requested the official that they would want to hold further talk with him in presence of school director Alok Chatterji. However, the talks failed and the students decided to continue with their protest.

Deputy director, culture, H R Ahirwar told Free Press, “We are not authorised to talk to media. We are just doing our job directed by our senior officers. The demands of the students like drinking water, hostels, faculty, attitude of the director, Navagat event, internship amount etc. will be resolved soon, but we can’t give them in writing. Also, it is not possible to send students in ‘Bharat Rang Mahotsav 2019’ because it demands more time and funds.

The matter has reached social media platform, as a facebook post of a student claims that formers students of the drama school from across the country may visit Bhopal to support the cause of the protesting students on Valentine Day. Students have been advised to keep away from media persons and avoid giving any statements regarding the school affairs.

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