Bengal minister warns students against 'extreme agitations'

Kolkata, Sep 24 : In the wake of a spurt in student agitations in West Bengal that saw heads of top varsities being locked-in, state Higher Education Minister Bratya Basu Tuesday cautioned against such "extreme movements".

He said the first step to get their grievances addressed should be via discussions and negotiations with the university officials.

"If they have grievances and issues with the system in their institutes then they should first approach the authorities (of the institutes) formally for possible talks.

"After that, if they are still dissatisfied with their response, then they can approach the higher education department of the state government," said Basu.

He emphasised such strong moves - like 'gheraos' (laying siege) and hunger-strikes - should be considered as a "last option".

"But why do they need to resort to such measures like gherao and strikes as the first option? That should be the last option after all efforts have failed."

West Bengal witnessed intense student movements in the last two weeks at the Jadavpur University and Calcutta University.

Hundreds of students of Jadavpur University laid a siege to its administrative office, forcing top functionaries including the vice-chancellor to stay put in their offices for 51 hours, after two students were suspended for allegedly ragging juniors.

Later, the students started an indefinite relay hunger-strike demanding reconsideration of the suspension of the two engineering students.

The agitating students alleged lack of transparency in the probe held earlier against the two suspended students.

In the Rajabazar campus of Calcutta University, students locked-in the varsity's pro vice chancellor, the secretary of the university college and its faculty Monday afternoon to demand proper placement opportunities.

Around 100 B.Tech students participated in the protest that ended late Monday night.

--IANS (Posted on 24-09-2013)

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