Tirunelveli: Tirunelveli city police on Tuesday resorted to a mild lathi-charge to disperse students who staged a protest against the Manonmaniam Sundaranar (MS) University authorities for hiking the fine amount for students who lacked the required attendance to appear for the semester exams.
The university had reportedly recently hiked the condonation fees for students who do not have 75 per cent attendance to Rs 500 per subject, and this was strongly opposed both by the students unions and the university teachers' association (MUTA).
Following this, the university administration had come forward to reduce the fine amount for a subject from Rs 500 to Rs 200, but the students demanded restoration of the earlier structure, which was Rs 500 for all subjects.
This apart, students also protested the implementation of new system of taking attendance every hour.
Another bone of contention was that, around 200 students led by Tamil Nadu state general secretary of the CPI (M), affiliated to the Students' Federation of India (SFI), demanded that students should be allowed to write their semester exams in Tamil. They also reportedly opposed the university mentioning the medium of instruction as Tamil in their semester certificates.
The university administration, however, remained firm in its decision on these issues, following which SFI-led students blocked the Tirunelveli - Tenkasi main road. A section of the unruly students tried to enter the university, triggering the lathi-charge.
Speaking to the media, MS university vice-chancellor, Dr Krishnan Baskar, said that the rules against which the students are agitating were not new. "The problem arose as the university has now started implementing those rules strictly as per UGC norms," he added....