Varsity landowners stage hunger strike

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Aizawl, Oct 24(UNI) Owners of land acquired for the Mizoram University (MzU) today resorted to indefinite hunger strike and demanded that compensation be given to them expeditiously.

The 'Mizoram University Compensation Association', in a statement today alleged that the university had refused to release the remaining Rs 3.93 crores (20 per cent of the total amount) to the claimants.

According to the statement, the compensation claimants had submitted a memorandum to former President APJ Abdul Kalam when he visited the university in 2005.

At the initiative of the President, the human resources development/university grant commission had sanctioned Rs 19.65 crores for compensation, fulfilling the long demand of the landowners, the statement said.

Rs 15.72 crores was disbursed to the landowners on May 16, 2008, that too after the claimants organised a series of agitations, the source said.

The statement alleged that the university is holding back the remaining amount despite repeated instructions from the HRD ministry, the UGC, the chief minister and the governor.

The association further warned that with the growing public resentment against the university, the association will not be responsible for any untoward incidents that may befall the university.

In an official statement today, Mizoram University registrar Benjamin said the HRD ministry had put forward four conditions for the compensation fund to be released to the claimants.

The registrar said the state government has to construct good roads and provide adequate power and water to the university while the landownership has to be handed over to the university authorities if compensation has to be given to the claimants.

However, none of these has been fulfilled, the statement alleged.

Besides, there are two court cases in connection with the acquired land following which the senior civil judge of Aizawl district has given a stay order to the compensation, the statement added.


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