Around 100 students from various departments of the University of Mumbai staged a silent protest at the venue of the university’s annual convocation ceremony on Sunday. The students will start a relay fast from January 14 in support of suspended economics professor Neeraj Hatkekar. He was suspended on January 4 after he levied allegations of wrongdoings against the university.
On Sunday, the students gathered at the Kalina campus gate, an hour ahead of the ceremony at 10.30am. “We wanted to make sure that our cause reaches the guests,” said Prashant Singh, spokesperson of the University Community for Democracy and Equality. The students’ body will call a general body meeting to decide the protest strategy.
The students had written to chief guest Raghunath Mashelkar, asking him to boycott the ceremony. Mashelkar skipped the ceremony citing health concerns. The chief guest for the ceremony was AN Rai, professor of biochemistry and director of the National Assessment and Accreditation Council of India.
Vice-chancellor Rajan Welukar attended the ceremony but students didn’t get a chance to talk to him about the issue.