Guwahati, Sep 28 (UNI) The protests against the resignation of Gauhati University (GU) Vice-Chancellor Amarjyoti Choudhury citing as reason failure of the state government to provide adequate fund, got stronger today with student activists burning the state Education Minister in effigy and demanding that the VC's resignation should not be accepted at any cost.
The All Assam Students' Union (AASU) activists blocked the national highway passing through the GU campus and burnt the effigy of Education Minister Ripun Bora across the state.
They also announced of more intensive protests against the state government, alleging that the latter's failure to protect the interests of the education sector had led to such a pass that the VC had to resign.
Dr Choudhury's resignation yesterday had led to sharp protests as he was viewed as the one person, who could revive the GU, which was faced with a host of problems, from lack of infrastructure to outdated courses.
Informing about an AASU delegation's meeting with state Governor and GU Chancellor Lt Gen (Retd) Ajai Singh today, AASU advisor Samujjal Kumar Bhattacharyya said, ''We have requested the Chancellor not to accept Dr Choudhury's resignation. Besides that, we have urged him to intervene immediately and ensure that the GU and other universities in the state get the required fund before a similar situation arises again.
Pointing out that it was the first time that a VC had to resign in the state for the government's failure to provide the required money to upgrade facilities, AASU president Shankar Prasad Rai said, '' this clearly shows the government's apathy and we will not tolerate it.'' Mr Rai said the AASU leadership had also met Dr Choudhury and requested him to reconsider his decision. '' The present VC was the last hope of bringing back GU to its glorious days, '' he added. Taking strong exception of the Education Minister's remarks yesterday that the VC was taking ''an escapist route'', AASU general secretary Tapan Gogoi said, ''We demand that tender a public apology and abstain from making such remarks in the future. '' The Education Minister had claimed that the state government had provided Rs 20 crore this year and the 12th Finance Commission had given a similar amount to the GU. But the VC had charged that the government had not even bothered to respond to the Rs 181 crore vision document he had prepared, and also not a single rupee of the Rs 25 crore announced on August 15, had been given.