Kerala Law Academy students continue agitation

Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 26 (IANS) Kerala Law Academy Principal Lakshmi Nair is facing heat on the eve of the institute’s golden jubilee celebrations, as the student agitation against her manner of running the academy enters its third week.

The students demand that Nair step down, which has been deemed as a “non-negotiable clause” by her.

Located in the state capital, the Kerala Law Academy has among its alumni many leading politicians, judges, lawyers, high ranking police officers and bureaucrats. That has enabled Nair and her father — institute director Narayanan Nair — to quell with ease any student agitation till now.

But things appear to have changed as students supported by all the political parties, are on a ‘dharna’ — the sit-in agitation — before the academy. By now every top political leader — including former Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan, State Congress President V.M. Sudheeran, state BJP President Kummanem Rajasekheran and Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala — has come and expressed support to the students’ strike.

Meanwhile, state BJP President V. Muraleedharan’s 48-hour hunger strike also is serving as a morale booster for the agitating students.

According to the students, Principal Nair has flouted the basic rules and regulations with respect to allotment of internal marks, attendance.

A round of talks with state Education Minister C. Raveendranth and students union leaders has failed.

“We are firm on our demand that the principal has to go and there is no going back on it,” said Students Federation of India (SFI) state unit President Jake C. Thomas.

The nine-member committee of the Syndicate members of the University of Kerala, which conducted a three-day probe i9nto the academy’s affairs, will prepare its report on Friday and submit it to the Syndicate meeting on Saturday.

According to the committee, grave irregularities have surfaced in the running of the institution. Nair on the other hand, denied all the allegations and has said certain vested interests are behind the smear campaign.

While former Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan demanded that the state government should step in and take back the excess land that it has given, Sudheeran and the BJP have demanded that the state government should take over the institute, currently being run by the father-daughter duo.

–IANS

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