Following a hunger strike by nearly 3,000 students, Telangana’s Rajiv Gandhi University of Knowledge Technologies (RGUKT), also known as IIIT Basara, has released a tender notification for the mess contractors. The students sat in on hunger strike in the dining hall on July 30 and 31, demanding action against the mess contractors.
The IIIT Basara administration has now invited tender for mess contractors to provide food to nearly 9,000 students on the campus. Interested candidates can submit their bid by August 6. Students had been demanding a change in the catering contract since 200 students fell sick after consuming food from the hostel mess in June this year. Students had also been demanding the renovation of the Pre-University College (PUC) block stating that it lacked the e required capacity in the hostel, mess, or even classrooms.
IIIT Basara had been in the eye of the storm due to students’ protests over several administrative issues including the quality of the food being served in the hostel mess, reported Edexlive. The students with their recent hunger strike also demanded implementation of the assurances given by the state government to call off their protest last month. They demanded the removal of the caterers for serving poor quality food that allegedly resulted in food poisoning and other health problems.
Adilabad BJP MP Soyam Bapu Rao, in whose constituency IIIT Basara is located, set off to meet the protesting students but was detailed by the local police. Rao after being kept in custody was later released.
The MP lashed out at the state government for not taking any measure to resolve the issue and alleged that the mess contractor was enjoying immunity from action because he was a relative of the ruling TRS MLC Kavitha. “That’s why the Chief Minister is not removing the contractor nor providing quality food. The government is also not allowing opposition leaders on the campus,” he said. The MP objected to police attempting to stop him from meeting the students and added that the state government was functioning in an autocratic manner.