Pune: The Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) has issued guidelines for students federations, unions and associations, directing them to keep protests, rallies, assemblies and hunger strikes off Aniket canteen and Refractory.
This was conveyed via a circular issued on March 27 to all the students' bodies, workers unions and other associations or organisations.
"Strict action will be taken against the groups if any organisation is found disobeying the order. The varsity has also given a replacement to hold such activities at an open space available near the main building," the circular said.
Arvind Shaligram, Registrar of SPPU, said the decision was made to ensure students' security. “The Security Department raised the concern of students' safety during protests being conducted in a largely populated area. If any disagreement or untoward incident occurs, it will be a threat to other students' safety. Keeping this in mind, we decided to give them another place. We do not intend to restrict them from protesting,” said Shaligram.
Raghvendra Risaldar, Secretary of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), Pune city, said, “Most of the protests happen near Aniket canteen and Refractory because masses of students are present there. The issues raised are not only for university authorities but also for students. Their (SPPU) decision is not right.”
Another student leader, Satish Gore, president of National Student Union of India (NSUI) echoed a similar reaction, stating the varsity act was unconstitutional by putting limitations on where to conduct protests. “Last year, students union had demanded building of an open hall near Aniket canteen so that all protests can be conducted there, as students are present in large numbers at these places,” said Gore.
"First of all, the fact that students union have to hold so many protests against various issues related to academics and management is in itself shameful for the administration."
- Raghvendra Risaldar (Secretary, ABVP, Pune)
"The place they (SPPU) have given to conduct protests is not safe because it is very congested and too small to fit hundreds of students. In case if any fight or problems break out in the heat of the moment there, it will add to risk to students' safety."
- Satish Gore, (President, NSUI)