Mumbai: On Tuesday afternoon, members of the National Student’s Union of India (NSUI) along with students and ex-students of the University of Mumbai protested outside the Ambedkar Bhavan of the university’s Kalina campus, demanding Vice Chancellor Suhas Pednekar’s resignation.
The students condemned the Vice Chancellor’s (VC) decision of inviting Yuva Sena president, Aaditya Thackeray for inaugurating an engineering and applied science sub-centre at the Kalyan campus of the University last Friday.
“Aditya Thackeray is not even a MP or MLA, then why was he invited ? There are qualified dignitaries and scientists from the field of applied science. Why weren’t they called at the event ?” questioned Ajay Mishra, the vice president of NSUI, Mumbai and a science graduate from the University.
Earlier, on the day of the inauguration, members of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and Maharahtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) clashed against the Yuva Sena members, as the formers protested of politicising the event and the latter allegedly manhandled the ABVP and MNS members.
Protesting students stated that the university campus is an autonomous educational institute is now being used as an entity of political parties. Earlier, Indian National Congress’s Mumbai chief Milind Deora and Naseem Khan were detained along with Karnataka irrigation minister, DK Shivakumar at the university rest house at Kalina campus.
“The VC has become a puppet of the Shiv Sena and is acting as their agent. Why should political leaders be detained inside a college campus ? Who is giving permission for all these ?” asked Nikhil Kamble a law student of the university and national secretary of the NSUI.
Members of the NSUI further alleged that the VC of backing university registrar Ajay Deshmukh who have corruption charges against him and demanded his position to be revoked and an enquiry against him to be initiated at the earliest.
Following the protests, a student delegation party met the Director of Board of Examinations, Dr Vinod Patil stating there demands, who assured the members that in the future the University would refrain from inviting political leaders at the campus and there will be a departmental enquiry against the officials, who gave permission to the Mumbai Police for detaining the congress leaders inside the campus.
Patil also stated that the University board will hand over a written report to the student’s body about the allegations on University registrar, Ajay Deshmukh.