An intern from Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Science University (GADVASU), who had been on a hunger strike for four days to demand an increase in his allowance, had to be rushed to hospital after his condition has deteriorated. The student, Shivam, was rushed to Civil Hospital and is in stable condition.
Earlier in the day Ludhiana West MP Gurpreet Singh Gogi spoke to the protesting students to convince them to call off the strike. Gogi also took the protesting student representatives to Minister Laljit Bhullar, who assured them that their grievances would be addressed.
The situation became tense when Bhullar invited a delegation of GADVASU students to Chandigarh so that the issue could be resolved amicably and urged them to end their hunger strike. To this, the protesting students said that if their demands are not dealt with on Monday, they will resume their protest outside the minister’s office in Chandigarh.
To this, the Minister said that problems are resolved through discussion and not by imposing conditions and threats. Gogi quickly intervened and told Bhullar that the students were restless as their friend had been on a hunger strike for four days.
After the state government failed to meet the request for an increase in the stipend, the student interns at GADVASU resumed their strike and started a chain hunger strike from June 12.
The protesting interns said: “Every time we meet a local minister or MP, we just get reassurance, but it seems the government doesn’t want to increase the allowance. So we resumed the strike.
The trainees stated that as per the Punjab government allowance policy for GADVASU, they receive ₹6,200 per month. But, trainees receive ₹20,000 to Kerala University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (KVASU) and ₹20,000 to the Hindu University of Benares. The allowance varies from ₹17,000 to ₹20,000 in veterinary universities in Haryana, Rajasthan and Karnataka, they said.