Shillong, Oct 19: The Khasi Students’ Union (KSU) staged a sit-in-demonstration at Kyrdemkulai, Ri Bhoi District during the visit of the vice chancellor of Central Agricultural University (CAU), Imphal on Saturday.
During the protest, members of the KSU North Khasi Hills District Unit displayed placards which read – “GOI betrayed (duped) the people of Meghalaya”, “Oh CAU Meghalaya that was promised in 2010, when we will see the light of the day,” “Land for CAU not for CoA (College of Agriculture)” and others.
Organizing secretary of the unit, Stevenson Kharkrang said the sit-in-demonstration infront of College of Agriculture at Kyrdemkulai was to express strong opposition against the Centre’s decision to establish a college instead of a university.
“The protest against the visit of the vice chancellor was to also send a strong message to the Centre to immediately set up the central agricultural university at Kyrdemkulai as promised in 2010,” he said.
Kharkrang said the members have also rejected the request by the vice chancellor to discuss on the matter.
Earlier in July this year, the KSU had sought the intervention of the Union Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare Minister Narendra Singh Tomar to ensure that the proposed setting up of the CAU in Meghalaya becomes a reality.
Quoting the information acquired through the Right to Information (RTI) Act by one Arju Dkhar, the KSU said it was observed that since 2010 there was a proposal to set up an autonomous CAU in the state of Meghalaya by the Government of India which would cater to the aspirations of the students’ community in the state of Meghalaya.
Accordingly an agreement was reached between the Central Government and the Government of Meghalaya under Entry 64 of the Union List I in the same year whereby a plot of land measuring 200 acres was acquired by the Government of Meghalaya in Kyrdemkulai, Ri-Bhoi District for the setting up of the said University.
Subsequently on October 16, 2014, in a letter (D. O. No. 5-7/2008-CAU) from Dr S Ayyapan the Secretary of the Department of Agricultural Research & Education and Director General of Indian Council of Agricultural Research to the then Chief Secretary of Meghalaya, PBO Warjri, it was conspicuously mentioned that the acquired land was for the establishment of a new CAU.
On October 28, 2015 a meeting was held under the chairmanship of Dr S Ayyapan with the officials of the Government of Meghalaya, Nagaland and Department of Agricultural Research in New Delhi to discuss on the various issues for the establishment of the CAU in Meghalaya.
However to the utter dismay of the people of Meghalaya, this year, it was found out that instead of a full-fledged University, a College of Agriculture was established in the said acquired land which is affiliated to the Central Agricultural University headquartered in Imphal, Manipur, Kharkrang said.