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IISc researchers to fast today against detention of scholars

January 18, 2019

Following the arrest of research scholars who were staging a protest outside the Union Human Resource Development Ministry in New Delhi on Wednesday demanding an increase in their fellowship allowances, IISc researchers will go on a hunger strike today to express solidarity.

“Yesterday something outrageous happened in the national capital and it is nothing but a mockery of democracy and citizenship rights. Around 2000 fellow researchers were forced into police custody for the ‘grave’ crime of peaceful protests demanding a hike in scholarship,” Deccan Herald quoted an IISc scholar.

According to various newspaper reports, around 2,000 protestors participated in the demonstration in Delhi, including members of the All India Research Scholars Association and others. The Indian Express reported that 700 protestors were detained and sent to two police stations.

“We have been demanding an 80% hike in our fellowships applicable from April 2018. Some of us plan to go on an indefinite hunger strike till our demands are met,” Nikhil Gupta, the national representative of Research Scholars of India said.

“There have been too many fake promises made to us. No more tweets and no more trying to divide us on the basis of caste, funding agencies or examinations. We have written way too many letters to the departments but have not got any relief so far,” he added.

Currently, junior research scholars get Rs 25,000 while senior research fellows are paid Rs 28,000.

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