Politicians finally visit Indian professor on hunger strike

Friday marks assistant professor Joshil Abraham’s seventeenth day on hunger strike as way of protesting against the Delhi government. Abraham, a professor from GB Pant Government Engineering College, and a handful of students are on a hunger strike to fight for land. It was originally promised to them by the Delhi government, and has now been given to a private public partnership Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology (IIITD).

A university starving for land: Why one professor is on hunger strike in Delhi

The Daily Vox followed up with Abraham on April 20 to learn what had happened since we last spoke to him.

On April 19, Indian National Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi met with Abraham at AIIMS hospital, to tell the professor that the party has given their unconditional support for the cause. The Congress is one of the two major political parties in India. Gandhi told Abraham that he plans to meet with the Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, second in command in the Delhi government, who’s been responsible for the decision to renegotiate land from GB Pant to IIITD.

The Communist Party of India (Marxist), a variant of Communist Party of India, also wants its general secretary, Sitaram Yechury to meet with the chief minister, too. With two political parties planning meeting with with the chief minister, Abraham hopes that it will put more political pressure on the chief minister to take action. A memorandum requesting to intervene in the matter was also sent to various members of parliament, the president of India, the prime minister of India, the lieutenant governor of Delhi and the Kerala chief minister in hopes that they will also put pressure on Delhi’s chief minister to take action.

Meanwhile, the Delhi government sent a committee of four professors from GGS Indraprastha University and Netaji Subhash Institute of Technology to speak with Abraham on April 19, saying he should end his hunger strike and hinted that it would affect Abraham’s job if he continued his strike. Abraham said he would continue his strike regardless.

The High Court of Delhi will hear the court case between Abraham and the Delhi government over whether the Delhi government has a right to delegate land previously given to GB Pant to private public partnership IIITD and also the why the government has not built the campus of GB Pant college even after 10 years of GB Pant’s establishment in an abandoned hostel building. The court will also hear the plea to stay the construction of IIITD. The case was brought to the High Court on April 14 and it is listed for hearing on April 21. Abraham is hopeful the High Court will find in GB Pant’s favour.

Featured image via Twitter