Sleep-in protest at Delhi University

After power cuts interrupt their Chaplin film, students hit back at VC

Nearly 25 students anda few teachers slept outside Delhi University’s vice chancellor’s office on Friday night to protest against his “dictatorial” ways and show their resentment when they were not allowed to watch a Charlie Chaplin movie as electricity supply was cut every time they tried to play it.

In continuation of their ongoing protest for past 20 days, Delhi University Teachers Association and some students decided to screen The Great Dictator, a Charlie Chaplin movie on Friday evening, which was being aired as a satire to highlight the present situation in the university and debate on it.

“During our first attempt to see the movie, within five minutes the power supply was disrupted on account of the VC’s order. But we found an alternative source of power and tried to watch the movie. However, within five minutes the power supply for the whole block outside VC’s office and DUTA’s protest area was disconnected,” said Ragini, a student from St Stephen’s College.

Sloganeering

After the power cut, students and teachers protested outside VC’s office shouting slogans.

“The VC saw us from his corridor but did not come out to speak with us. As a form of protest to show that we will keep coming back if we are not heard, students decided to sleep in the lawn outside VC’s office. We got our mattresses and slept till Saturday morning,” said another student.

Around 12:30 pm on Saturday, students and teachers held a public meeting where they demanded a public apology from the VC and decided to continue with protests to highlight DU’s “lack of concern towards student issues.”

Petition filed

A petition has been given to DU’s VC  Dinesh Singh two days ago with over 4,000 signatures from mostly DU students followed by some teachers and few from students of Jawaharlal Nehru University.

“Students have demanded for ‘democratisation of the university’ to ensure that students exercise their right to raise concerns regarding new educational reforms and other prevalent issues,” said Abha Dev, DUTA member.

In response to the protest, the registrar of the university released an official statement on Saturday saying the university regrets “complete disregard of propriety towards observance of law by a handful of teachers and misguided students by direct tapping of electrical power from exposed high tension wires on electrical poles.”

The statement added that if such activities continue, legal action will be taken against the offending persons.

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