Nagaland students send 50,000 emails to the CM and officials demanding probe
Kohima: On the first day of their digital protest, students across the state sent 50,000 emails to top government officials expressing their resentment towards the "lackadaisical" response in setting up an inquiry commission to probe into the utilization of funds at Khelhoshe Polytechnic Atoizu (KPA) in Zunheboto.
ANCSU president Vimeyiekho Vitso said that students sent emails to the chief minister's office (CMO), chief secretary, the minister concerned and other top officials of the government.
Vitso says they will intensify their protest from Tuesday and send two lakh emails. By Wednesday they want a million emails to clog inboxes of top officials. Students have also taken to social media platforms to protest against the government.
If the state government fails to meet their demand by the third day, the students plan to go beyond the digital mode of protest, adding that it will be a democratic protest.
He hinted that the students will be visiting officers and sensitizing them on the need for setting up an enquiry commission.
What is the demand of the students?
The students have been demanding the setting up of an inquiry commission to probe fund utilization of about Rs 3.71 crore for Khelhoshe Polytechnic Atoizu under the AICTE-NEQIP scheme. The students body had served a 30-day ultimatum to the chief secretary on August 31.
Vitso said that on inspection, they found that the fund was transferred in three instalments starting April 2014 to February 2017. The students body claims that though the entire fund was allegedly spent on development, there is little to show on the ground.
"When we visited the institute, the shape and infrastructure of the building of the institute was in a sorry state. There were no proper desk and benches, the windows were broken, and there was no proper infrastructure," claimed Vitso
Vitso also revealed that in response to an RTI filed by the student body, it was claimed that Rs 32 lakh was used in "academic support for SC and ST students". Amounts in Rs 1,500 and 1,800 were paid to lecturers per day for extra classes to weak students, Rs 7,500 was paid to resource persons per day, and Rs 30,000 was paid to the principal per day.
Another Rs 38 lakh has also been utilized for the faculty and staff development activities, such as visiting factories, industries for enhancement of the academic minds, said Vitso.
While the ANCSU visited the institute on February 11, he said that the response to the RTI was received on February 12. "The claims of the institute and confessions of students does not match", he added.
Citing an example, Vitso said that while the institute claimed that machines were functional, the students claimed otherwise. In another instance, Vitso said that claims about the up-gradation of laboratories were made; however, it was learnt from the students that these existed before the implementation of the scheme.
"We are not blaming anyone on the mismanagement," he said further adding that a committee should be set up to investigate and present the truth. The student body also urged the state government to take cognizance of similar schemes in other institutes.
While the fourth instalment of the scheme is yet to be received, Vitso said that the overall estimation of the funds available for the scheme is Rs 4.16 crore.
Meanwhile, ANCSU general secretary Imnameren Jamir added that the institute claimed to have purchased 1,055 books for the library worth around Rs 9 Lakh under the NEQIP scheme. However, only 198 books were reportedly purchased.