City Reports

Protest for student union elections intensifies at Rajasthan University

A group of more than 12 students staged a protest by pouring petrol on themselves before entering the Vice-Chancellor's Secretariat at Rajasthan University in Jaipur.

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November 1, 2023, 7:15 am

ru rajasthan university file photo

Rajasthan University. file photo.

JAIPUR: As the Rajasthan government has announced not to conduct student union polls in the state this year, the student organizations have intensified their protest against the decision.

A group of more than 12 students staged a protest by pouring petrol on themselves before entering the Vice-Chancellor’s Secretariat at Rajasthan University in Jaipur.

They were demanding that student union elections be held immediately in the state. These students barricaded themselves within the Vice-Chancellor’s office, issuing an ultimatum to the government that it either fulfill their demand or bear the responsibility for mass self-immolation.

Sanjay Chaudhary, a student leader, blamed the Vice-Chancellor for its administrative lapses. He alleged incomplete admission processes and erroneous feedback provided to the government regarding the student union elections.

Joined by other student leaders Mahesh Chowdhary, Vinod Bhudauli, and Harphool Chowdhary, a symbolic funeral procession was conducted within the campus premises, mourning Vice-Chancellor Professor Rajeev Jain’s purported failures. The group broke through security barriers to reach the Vice-Chancellor.

Additional protests were staged across the campus, with students sitting atop Science College, the Administrative Building, and the Library. The agitation escalated as students occupied a water tank for over four hours and refused to climb down despite attempts at negotiation by both Civil Defense and the Police.

Hanuman Beniwal intervened to mediate the situation. Eventually, after discussions initiated by Higher Education Minister Rajendra Yadav, the student leaders descended from the tank.

Eight student leaders started a hunger strike on August 13 to demand the reinstatement of student union elections. Their health deteriorated over the course of two days, prompting their transfer to SMS Hospital.

First published: August 18, 2023