Protests erupt in Belagavi over VTU bifurcation plan

Protests erupt in Belagavi over VTU bifurcation plan

AGAINST SPLIT: Writers stage a demonstration, opposing the move to bifurcate VTU, in front of the deputy commissioner's office in Belagavi on Tuesday. DH Photo

The announcement of the bifurcation of Visvesvaraya Technological University (VTU) here, in the state budget, has attracted strong criticism.

It has also revived the demand for the division of the state and the move to bifurcate the varsity, to create a new campus in Hassan, is seen as discrimination towards North Karnataka.

Various organisations have opposed the bifurcation. It is being termed as a political decision to appease the people from the southern part of the state and continued injustice towards the north.

Former higher education minister Basavaraj Rayareddi said that the bifurcation of VTU will be disastrous for North Karnataka and will pave the way for its closure in the next five years. Engineering colleges in the state were closing down due to shortage of students and most of the private colleges in the north region were facing a threat, Rayareddi said.

Organisations like Belgaum Foundry Cluster, Confederation of Real Estate Developers of India, Belgaum Chamber of Commerce and Industries, writers and Kannada organisations like Belagavi District Kannada Organisations Action Committee have opposed the announcement.

The protesters dared the government to divide the state as well, like VTU. A meeting to oppose the announcement was held on Monday.

Belagavi South MLA Abhay Patil said that a memorandum with signature of 50 MLAs from North Karnataka region would be submitted to Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, opposing the bifurcation of VTU and demanding that the announcement be withdrawn.