Students of Visva Bharati at Santiniketan, who have been staging a sit-in over rustication of three peers for more than a week, began a relay hunger hunger strike today after putting up a flower bouquet at the main entrance of Vice Chancellor (V-C) Bidyut Chakraborty's residence on the occasion of Teachers' Day.
The agitators said that they had placed the bouquet on the gate to wish the V-C, but despite their effort, Mr Chakraborty "did not acknowledge it".
Somnath Sow, one of the three rusticated students, said the hunger strike will be observed by the students to press for their demand for immediate revocation of the expulsion order.
Rupa Chakraborty, another rusticated student, was the first one to begin the strike during the day.
"Our agitation for immediate revocation of the expulsion order will continue. We will carry on with this peaceful satyagraha, more than 50 metres away from the V-C's residence, in accordance with the high court directive. We feel sorry that he did not accept our floral tribute and refused to meet us in person," Sow said.
The three students were suspended in January after taking part in a rally on the Visva Bharati campus in protest against the alleged "vindictive attitude of the V-C towards those opposed to his views".
An official of the central university said that they were given a chance to defend their case before the enquiry commissioner appointed by the institute, but all three of them were "unapologetic".
The students were expelled for three years on August 23.