SFI plans protests demanding reopening of colleges, universities in Bengal

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Kolkata, Jul 13 (PTI) The Students Federation of India (SFI) will be holding demonstrations across West Bengal on July 16 and 17 demanding resumption of offline classes in colleges and universities at the earliest after each and every student is vaccinated.

Subhajit Sarkar, state committee member of the SFI, students wing of the CPI(M), told PTI that the suspension of physical classes for over one and half years due to the pandemic has adversely impacted the students, many of whom do not have the wherewithal to attend online classes.

'If everything can begin in a graded manner, if malls and restaurants can open, if people can observe festivals with restrictions, why can't colleges and universities reopen in phases after vaccination of students and staff,' Sarkar said.

He said SFI activists will demonstrate in public places in the city, and the district towns by adhering to COVID-19 safety protocols, and the number of protestors will not exceed 50.

Jadavpur University Vice-Chancellor Prof Suranjan Das told PTI recently he had urged the health department to fully vaccinate the university students for free which was a pre- requisite for resumption of classes in a phased manner in the future though it may not be a possibility in coming days as the threat of a possible third wave of COVID-19 is looming.

The two-day protest will also be held to press for withdrawal of an order by Visva-Bharati University suspending three students.

The students had been suspended a few months back on grounds of indiscipline.

'The three SFI members were suspended unfairly for peacefully protesting against the dictatorship of the VC which is impacting i their studies,' SFI Visva-Bharati unit leader Somnath Sau said. PTI SUS MM MM

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