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UoH land for TIFR campus opposed

Special Correspondent

Parties, faculty, students urge Prime Minister not to lay foundation stone


Prime Minister Manmohan Singh scheduled to lay the foundation stone at UoH on October 19

Opposition parties plan protest against allotment of UoH land to private institutions




CAUGHT IN A ROW:Despite protests from students, teachers and political parties, the State government is going ahead with arrangements for the laying of foundation for TIFR campus by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on October 19.

HYDERABAD: Two days ahead of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to University of Hyderabad campus to lay stone for the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), opposition parties and a section of faculty and students have decided to oppose allocation of land.

The faculty and students' unions have decided to stage a demonstration on Monday in protest against the plans to allot the university land to various private institutions even as the Left parties appealed to the Prime Minister not to lay the foundation stone as it would pave way for allotment of more land to other institutes.

TDP MP Y.S. (Sujana) Chowdary, TRS former MP B. Vinod Kumar, CPI (M) State secretary B.V. Raghavulu and his CPI counterpart K. Narayana visited the university campus on Saturday to interact with students and faculty over the issue.

‘Unscrupulous'

In a separate letter addressed to the Prime Minister, the Left leaders appealed to Dr. Singh to cancel his proposed programme as it could be used by ‘unscrupulous' administration to sanctify its ‘selfish' and ‘unreasonable land deals'. Mr. Raghavulu alleged that the UoH administration was ‘highly undemocratic' in not consulting students and teachers over land allocation.

Dr. Narayana said several proposals earlier to alienate land in favour of other institutions had been put on hold owing to strong opposition from different sections. He said there were proposals to allot 1,000 acres more to institutions and Dr. Singh's laying foundation stone would enable the university to clear them.

UoH clarifies

The UoH, however, clarified that land had been allotted to TIFR, a Central government's institute of excellence wholly-funded by Department of Atomic Energy, and not to any private institute. The land was allotted after the State government issued orders and the UoH executive council approved it unanimously. Protests were the handiwork of some faculty members from the School of Social Sciences.

Roundtable

Meanwhile, at a roundtable on the issue attended by representatives of political parties and civil society groups, they sought cancellation of land to TIFR and all other land allotments while the State government should issue public statement that it would not exert pressure on the university to transfer its land to any external organisation. The Prime Minister should make a public statement during his visit to Hyderabad on October 19, that there would be a summary and irrevocable freeze on all future land allotments by the university.

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