New Delhi: The Delhi University Teachers Union (DUTA) staged a twelve hour standing dharna protest on Saturday, between 12 Noon to Midnight. The standing dharna was staged against (a) the inhuman act of removing chairs and other facilities for security guards employed by the University, (b) the demands for exorbitant sums of money and insensitive closure of Panditji’s dhaba, which has for generations been part of the University and a space where teachers, students, karmacharis as well as morning and evening walkers have come together and interacted, and (c) equally arbitrary action of simultaneously termination of the services of the Security Officer of South campus and his wife who was a library employee. Teachers, students and karamcharis have been joining this protest action in large numbers against the conversion of the University into a fiefdom where the most arbitrary and inhuman steps are being daily practiced and the basic ethos and the fundamental principles of a university are being systematically destroyed.
The Jana Natya Manch joined the protest and staged a street play. Prof. Irfan Habib’s letter to the University calling upon it to stop this inhuman step was read out in the course of the Dharna. Mr. Harish Khanna, DUTA Secretary, reported that he has spoken to a group of lawyers who, on learning about the matter, have expressed the desire to take up a public the National Human Rights Commission. The DUTA has already written to the National Human Rights Commission. The dharna was conducted in the leadership of DUTA president Nandita Narain and several Teachers and Students of DU spoke on this occasion apart from DUTA office bearers.
1. Immediate restoration of chairs and other facilities for the security guards so that they are not forced to work under inhuman conditions.
2. Reinstatement of Panditji dhaba and refund of over 50,000 rupees collected from the dhaba by the University as fine from the dhaba.
3. Reinstatement of the South Campus Security Officer, who has served for over 11 years, and his wife, who is a library employee with 4 years of experience. They have been terminated without assigning any reason and ostensibly because the South Campus Security Officer was not allowing the exit of a truck leaving with illegally felled trees.
4. Institute an impartial enquiry by the appropriate authority to the illegal felling of trees and officials responsible for the same.