New Delhi: The representative body of Delhi University's teachers will hold a major dharna on Tuesday and a 'token' strike in a display of its anger against the varsity administration, which it says is turning a deaf ear to their demands and is curbing their right to protest.
    
Despite a letter from the University warning that their participation will be deemed a violation of a standing High Court order against disruption of teaching, the Delhi University Teachers Association will go ahead with the 24-hour programme of dharna and hunger strike.
    
DUTA said on Monday that the situation within the University had become "stifling" and the teachers are feeling "oppressed" by the Vice Chancellor's attitude of refusing to consult them on matters of academic importance and imposing measures to curb their right to protest through such letters and orders.
    
Among the persistent demands of the teachers has been the filling of nearly 4,000 vacant teaching posts, and a say in the academic 'reforms' being introduced by the Vice Chancellor.
    
However, they charge that the VC remains inaccessible and has obdurately refused to meet the teachers' elected representatives for over a year. The DUTA will hold a one-day token strike and a 24 hours hunger strike of DUTA Executive and elected members of the Academic and Executive Councils on Tuesday.
    
"We will not take this lying down. DUTA is a statutory body of the varsity and the VC has even refused to meet our representatives let alone seek our opinion, despite several appeals," said DUTA Executive member Abha Dev Habib.
    
She said the teachers were feeling "oppressed" as the varsity administration was "flouting" all democratic norms by announcing "unilateral" decisions and "abusing his emergency powers".
    
Days after the DUTA announced its programme for strike, the University sent a letter to the Deans, Principals and Heads of Department asking them to invoke 'No Work No Pay' against the striking teachers, terming the strike a violation of a standing order of the High Court.
    
"The order was issued at the time when semester system was being imposed by the University. We consider the order limited to the semester issue. It is not an order for a longer term," she said.

(Agencies)

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