ITANAGAR, 2 May: The All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union (AAPSU) and the Rajiv Gandhi University Research Scholars’ Forum (RGURSF) have condemned the RGU administration for its “high-handedness” and “dictatorial attitude” towards the university’s students.
Condemning “the high-handedness of the RGU administration, leading to a hostile atmosphere in the lone central university of the state,” the AAPSU on Saturday appealed to the RGU administration to immediately recall the show cause notice it issued to research scholar Prem Taba.
Following an emergency meeting at a city hotel here, the union also expressed serious resentment against “the arbitrary nature and the tenor by which the hostel vacation order was previously issued to the students by the RGU administration.”
“We are really pained to see the happenings inside the university campus. Any attempt to stifle genuine democratic voice of the student community in RGU and other educational institutions in the state shall not be tolerated by the AAPSU,” AAPSU general secretary Tobom Dai said.
The union also reiterated its demand that the state government release the pending stipends and scholarships of eligible students. It said it would follow up on the issue with the officials and ministers concerned and continue to press for the release of the pending stipends and scholarships for eligible students.
Expressing concern over the RGU administration’s calling in “paramilitary forces to the campus premises to handle and contain the university’s students peacefully protesting against the hostel eviction notice,” the RGURSF said it was also distressed to know that “a show cause notice was issued to research scholar Prem Taba for spearheading the protest.”
Feeling wronged by “such lackadaisical decisions taken by the administration,” the RGURSF said that it “firmly stands against the personal attack carried out by the administration on research scholar Prem Taba for representing the interest of the students.”
Also condemning “the dictatorial attitude of the administration for using its vested powers to suppress the dissenting voices,” the RGURSF said that it stands in solidarity with Taba, saying: “This kind of intimidation from the administration side to suppress students’ voices is unacceptable and uncalled for.”
The RGU Assam Students’ Forum (RGUASF) also issued a statement, saying that it stands in solidarity with PhD scholar Prem Taba and condemns the decision of the university authorities against him.
“We are deeply shocked by the decision of the university authorities and extend our support to Taba. Know that you are not alone in this fight. We stand with you today and always,” the RGUASF said.
Responding to the accusations made by the RGU authorities that the scholars had used abusive language with the dean of students’ welfare (DSW) and the warden, the prefect of the Tissa Halls of Residence also clarified that “no personal remarks were made towards the DSW or the warden, as is being circulated among the faculty members.”
“We would like to inform you that the DSW and the warden were in no mood or intent to hear the problems of the scholars, where many scholars pleaded them to wait and listen to their grievances, but the duo walked out from the house… But we accept that while placing our grievances, we had an emotional outburst that resulted into raising of voices. But no personal remarks to the respected DSW and warden were made which led them to circulate/campaign and mislead the faculties of the university, which created misunderstanding between faculties and scholars believing that they were humiliated and abused,” the prefect said.
However, the prefect added that “if in the definition of representative that ‘expressing our grievances in a loud voice’ is abusive and accusing the university authority then in this regard we are ready to tender apology to the concerned authority.”
The members of the Tissa Halls of Residence and the Panyor Halls of Residence in particular and research scholars in general have requested the competent authority to properly examine the factual events to draw specific conclusions as it “may affect the image of the research scholar and the university as a whole.”
Research scholar and RGURSF general secretary Prem Taba also explained to the registrar that when the DSW and the warden came to meet the scholars, he had “only appealed for reconsidering the decision to close hostels as some of us have unavoidable problems,” in the presence of about 57 research scholars from the Tissa Halls of Residence as well as the Panyor Halls of Residence.
“Neither me nor any of the meeting attendees used any kind of socially offensive or swear words upon the DSW and warden to make them feel uncomfortable or humiliated. Those 57 research scholars are witnesses to it.
“I would like to reiterate that I was only explaining the pressing problems faced by the scholars and that by no means had I used inappropriate language or behaviour,” Taba said.
He also informed that, when he heard rumours that the DSW felt as if he had been humiliated at the Tissa Halls of Residence, he had texted the DSW on WhatsApp and apologized for any unkind words that he may have used unintentionally to hurt the DSW’s sentiments.
On the allegation of spreading misinformation through the print media, Taba said that “throughout that time, there was confirmed news from reliable sources that research scholar hostels were allowed to function in other neighbouring universities. Even as we speak, the North-Eastern Hill University, Meghalaya, has issued an official notification asking students to stay in their respective hostels,” he said.