SHILLONG: The Joint Action Committee (JAC) disrupted the Academic Council meeting at North Eastern Hill University (NEHU) in protest against the failure of NEHU Vice-Chancellor to address their demands, including the termination of a contractual technical officer.
Protest leaders from three associations – NEHUTA, NEHUNSA, and NEHUSU that comprises the JAC – marched to the administrative building and forcefully entered the conference hall where the Academic Council meeting was scheduled on Tuesday. They appealed to all members to support their protest.
The JAC has a set of demands, which include the removal of the contractual technical officer, Rohit Prasad, activation of GeM ID, provision of medicines to health centres on the campus, regular fellowships for research students, an increase in non-NET fellowships, and improvements in hostel facilities.
Lakhon Kma, the head of the JAC, expressed their expectation that the consultant and technical officer, Prasad, would voluntarily resign. “But even if he doesn’t quit on his own, the JAC will continue to press the VC to end his employment. His office room is now locked. On humanitarian grounds, we will allow him time to leave the quarter assigned to him,” he told the press.
In response, NEHU’s VC, Prof PS Shukla, defended the appointment of Prasad, asserting that all necessary procedures were adhered to, and the university’s laws and regulations were followed. He pledged to provide comprehensive information and clarification on the matter, including relevant documentation, to address the concerns.
The Academic Council meeting was convened by the VC to discuss various issues, including the implementation of the National Education Policy (NEP).
The JAC also locked Prasad’s office, claiming that his appointment was illegal. Kma, also announced plans to continue with their agitation. “He (Rohit) has vacated his office, and in the coming days, he will also have to evacuate his quarter, failing which we will take similar action of locking his quarter as well,” he told the press.
Kma added that the JAC would no longer engage in discussions with the VC regarding Prasad’s appointment but remained willing to address other longstanding issues concerning the three NEHU associations.