STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE
New Delhi, 17 October
In a bizarre move, a student of Delhi University has threatened to commit suicide by setting himself on fire if the university fails to keep its promise of building more hostels for its students.
Praveen Kumar Singh, pursuing MA in Buddhist Studies, who had sat on hunger strike earlier for the same demand, has again addressed a letter to the University warning to take the extreme step. "No positive action taken in this regard will force me to resort to violence. I will self immolate myself on 14 February 2014, on the occasion of Antardhvani Cultural Festival," Praveen said in the letter.
"I demand hostel accommodation and meals for students at low rates and university library be open 24×7. The University officials ended my fast by sending a police squad at midnight who forcefully shifted me in a hospital on the 10th day of hunger strike. The University officials assured me to meet the demands but no action took place except reducing the price of some eatables in University’s IRCTC canteen," he said. He has warned the university officials of taking extreme steps on the University’s annual festival Antardhwani, if the demand of hostels is not made.
Meanwhile, university officials said that things are taking place systematically. "We have been working on the issues. Prices of eatables in canteen have been lowered and university library also opens late night. We are actively pursuing the demand of hostels," said Alka Sharma, University registrar.
Praveen has also demanded to quash the FIRs lodged against five students during the mid-night crackdown to end his fast. The incident had resulted in a chaos as the students had torched a police gypsy after a student was run over by the ambulance taking Praveen to hospital.