West Bengal: Visva-Bharati University students in Birbhum allegedly locked the gate of the University campus and gheraoed Vice-Chancellor Bidyut Chakrabarty yesterday. 200 teachers and staff are said to be still stuck inside the University premises.

According to the ANI reports, Vice-Chancellor said that he was saddened by students’ behaviour since he had a 5-hour long discussion with 250 senior faculty members, senior officers (including several Directors, Registrar, and Finance officer), and student representatives, yesterday, regarding the fee hike.

The protest by the undergraduate and postgraduate students started in Lipika auditorium just after the meeting and is still going on.

The University has also released a notification, in lieu of the continuous protests in the University, that the semester exams which were scheduled to be held on May 22, 2019, has been postponed until further notice.

Students of the varsity blamed the management for hiking the fee without holding any discussion with them beforehand. The students have been protesting against the hike for the past 10 days just after the notice was circulated.

Students claimed that last year the fee was Rs. 1000 for graduation Rs. 1500 for postgraduation which has been increased to Rs. 1500 and Rs. 3000 respectively. Fee for M. Phil course has been hiked from Rs. 2000 to Rs. 8000 and for Ph.D., it has been hiked to Rs.10000.

The public relation officer of Visva-Bharati, Anirban Sircar, said that the fee was hiked in accordance with the decision of the Central Admission Committee and no rule has been violated in the process.

“We have been asked by the ministry of human resource development to become self-dependent. The increase in the charges is part of that exercise,” Sircar said to The Telegraph.