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Teachers cry foul over scrapping of Anna's function

Wednesday April 27, 2011 11:36:46 AM, IANS

Lucknow: Teachers at Lucknow University Wednesday said the varsity administration's decision to cancel a function involving social activist Anna Hazare is aimed at crippling his campaign against corruption and they would seek the governor's intervention.

"We will convene a general body meeting of teachers to decide our strategy against the varsity administration, whose decision is aimed at crippling Hazare's campaign that is receiving an overwhelming response across the country," R.B. Singh, general secretary of Lucknow University Teachers Association (LUTA), told IANS.

The varsity administration Tuesday denied permission to LUTA to felicitate Hazare on the campus on the grounds that the hall where the function was to take place May 1 was too small to accommodate a big gathering.

"We will apprise the governor, who is also the university chancellor, about the undemocratic decision. There are no valid reasons for not allowing us to felicitate Hazare on the campus," Singh said.

"We are shocked and surprised by the reason given by the varsity administration for not allowing us to organise the felicitation and that too when LUTA had already deposited the money for booking the Malviya Conference Hall," said Singh.

"The university must understand that the programme planned by us was not part of any public rally, where everyone can participate. It was just a function to felicitate the Gandhian crusader," he said.

According to university spokesperson S.K. Dwivedi, the permission was denied simply because the hall is very small to accommodate a big gathering.

"The hall can accommodate 350-odd people, but we believe that the strength of the people attending the programme would be much more. The decision by the Lucknow University administration has been taken to avoid any untoward incident."

Hazare will begin a three-day tour of Uttar Pradesh from Friday. On the day he would address a public meeting in Varanasi. It would be followed by public meetings in Sultanpur April 30 and Lucknow May 1.

Hazare had held a 97-hour-long fast in the Indian capital earlier this month, forcing the government to agree to civil society involvement for a stronger anti-corruption Lokpal Bill.





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