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Unrest in Assam University over erratic power supply

GUWAHATI/SILCHAR, May 3: The Assam University campus erupted in protest on Monday night as students raised slogans against irregular power supply ahead of the exams. They demanded that the varsity authoritiy should postpone the semester examinations scheduled on Tuesday.

After a series of hailstorms and thundersqualls created havoc in Cachar district recently, power supply to the university and nearby areas has been erratic. Students residing at Irongmara, Bodojalenga, Chotojalenga and Silcoorie have suffered the most. Many of them requested the university administration to postpone the examination from May 3 to another date. However, the authority did not agree to this demand, leading to serious altercation between officials and students.

As the two sides failed to reach a consensus, protesting students on Monday evening locked the university gates. This prevented a large number of students, teaching staff along with non-teaching employees from moving out of the premises. The magistrate in a bid to control the situation, visited the campus at around 10 pm and tried to negotiate with the protesters, but to no avail.

Later, in order to disperse agitating students, the police was called into the campus. In the ensuing lathicharge, several students were injured.

This inflamed the students further, with a large of them staging a sit-in-demonstration outside the campus on Tuesday. Earlier on Monday, the varsity authority made it clear that though there will be no postponement of the examination, students who failed to appear for it will be allowed to sit for the examination afresh.

It may be mentioned that on April 15, a similar protest was staged by students demanding regular power supply in the varsity area. At that time, they were promised regular power supply with no power-cuts for 18 hours a day. But the authority failed to keep its promise which set the students on the warpath.

Meanwhile, at the time of filing of this report, students have been asked by the university authority to submit a memorandum laying down their demands.  (Source: SentinelAssam)

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