Dr YSR National Institute of Tourism and Hospitality Management’s (NITHM) students started a protest on April 11 against the director alleging that he was functioning with impunity, citing political influence. They said that he was ‘bending rules according to his own will’ and was constantly changing the examination pattern, which was causing the students great stress.
The ABVP joined the protesting students on the fifth day of dissent at the university’s Administrative block. The same day, they also shot off a letter to Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao.
In the letter, students demanded that the institute’s Director, Chinnam Reddy, must be sacked or else, they would step up the protest with an indefinite hunger strike and demand Transfer Certificates (TCs) and refund of the fees that was paid.
Chagrined by the indifferent attitude of administration towards resolving this issue, the students finally launched a relay hunger strike on Wednesday demanding the Director’s suspension.
Nearly 18 students sat on a strike while the others extended their support by deprecating the institute’s apathy towards their concerns through posters and slogans.
The administration’s appeal call off the strike failed to have any impact while the students strengthened their agitation by constituting a joint action committee soon. Local police had to intervene.
A video of the incident published by the students shows police personnel entering the campus and approaching the students as they are seen sitting under a tent.
The police personnel are then seen taking away four of them to the police station. The police can then be seen pulling down the tent put up by the students and taking away the mattresses that the students were sleeping on.
“I don’t think there was any case registered. In fact, the police who came to pick us up had no idea what the issue was about when we questioned them. They simply said that we were asked to do it, and so we did it. No warrant was also shown to us,” one of the students said.
NITHM is affiliated to the Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University (JNTU), Hyderabad.
“The JNTU exam pattern is not being followed. The academic calendar issued by JNTU and NITHM is not being followed. The internal examination pattern has been changed thrice as per the director’s choice and was announced only a week before the actual examination,” students said in an earlier message to the media.
Meanwhile, MANUU Students Union has extended its full support to the protesting NITHM students. In its union circular, MANUU has asked the CM Mr. KCR to suspend the director and ensure academic regularities for smooth maintenance of NITHM.