Students at NIT Uttarakhand have been on an indefinite strike since the 4th of October demanding that the temporary campus along National Highway-58 is shifted to a safer location and that a permanent campus is allotted soon after two students were injured on the 3rd of October in an accident.
Neelam Meena, a third-year student of B.Tech (electrical and electronics), had to be rushed to AIIMS Rishikesh after she suffered critical injuries to her brain, chest and spinal cord when a speeding vehicle rammed into her as she was making her way to her classes. Neelam’s batchmate, Nupur Munda, is said to have suffered minor injuries.
In a memorandum to the Ministry of Human Resource Development, the students’ body of NIT Uttarakhand has demanded that immediate financial support is provided to the victims and their families. They also demand that the temporary campus is shifted to a safer place with better health facilities. An allotment of land for a permanent campus has also been sought.
The institute is currently lodged on the terrace of a government polytechnic college with a tin roof instead of a concrete one. During monsoons, the classrooms apparently leak and several hostel rooms on the ground floor have to be vacated due to leaks and seepage. Many students have been housed at places far away from the campus.
In one of the official documents of the protests as per their website, the students say they had called off the protest last year after being ‘gulled’ by authorities.
They say, “The students of NIT Uttarakhand called off this week-long strike last year, 28 August 2017. As we were gulled by these administrators and officials. The efforts, hopes and dreams were curbed. We were clipped down. All we wanted was a place to call home, a campus. But we were made their victims of local politics. The strike was called off with a prophecy, that we will be rammed by vehicles. And the darkest nightmare come true.”
In a letter to OpIndia.com, students from the institute claimed that they had written several letters to the Chief Minister of the state and yet their concerns have not been addressed. They said that students were sitting on a strike despite bad weather and were conducting candle marches. They say though they are sitting in the sun for days, the hopes for a permanent campus is fading.