Maharashtra State Education Minister Intimidate SFI Activist Over Phone, Threatens To Shutdown The Institute

Maharashtra State education minister Vinod Tawde on Tuesday threatened two SFI activists of polytechnic college in Solapur over the phone after Students Federation of India (SFI) launched a SMS campaign for reviewing the decision to convert the polytechnic college into an engineering college.

Annoyed after receiving nearly 1,000-1,500 SMSs, Minister Tawde has allegedly told one of the student activists that he would close the polytechnic college by the evening if the SMS campaign did not stop. Minister has also threatened the student Activists to lodge a police complaint against the SMS Campaign and demanded a written apology from one of the student.

Earlier, Students’ Federation Of India (SFI) had organized several protest rallies and has sent an application to the education department requesting to withdraw the circular dated October 13, 2016 which called for the conversion of the polytechnic college into an engineering college despite all seats being filled up every year. The SMS campaign was launched on February 14 of this month. Students claimed that polytechnic college in Solapur was the only institution in the region offering diploma courses and the circular would put the future of a large number of students at stake.

Responding to the allegation, Minister Tawde said  “I received 500-600 text messages in three hours. It was torture. Why can’t I complain to the police for causing this torture to me?” He accused SFI for politically motivating students.

SFI Maharashtra State Secretary Datta Chavan Said “The students felt their voices should be heard. Since the government is into promoting digital India, we addressed the issue by sending text messages to the minister. But it took an ugly turn with the minister telling students he would lodge a police complaint.”

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