Bengal varsity heads meet governor over lock-in incidents

Kolkata, Sep 24 : Heads of the two universities, that witnessed intense student agitations including lock-ins of the officials, Tuesday met West Bengal Governor M.K. Narayanan apprising him of the situation and urging him to take firm action.

Jadavpur University vice chancellor Souvik Bhattacharya, pro vice chancellor Siddhartha Datta and Calcutta University's vice chancellor Suranjan Das along with several other staff members expressed "strong concerns" about recent incidences of lock-ins at the two university campuses.

"We expressed strong concern about what has been happening in the two campuses to the governor. He has supported our views. He has heard our grievances.. he will think about it and will ask us to meet again in some time," said Das.

"The governor agrees with us that such gheraos (sieges) are unacceptable."

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, they 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 night.

The officials reiterated that students should exercise their rights in a democratic way instead of resorting to extreme agitations.

"We will try to discuss and formulate a basic structure at the next meeting with the governor to tackle this problem," said Bhattacharya.

Das, speaking for his university, contended the lock-in was a violation of his rights as well those of his staff and said the West Bengal Human Rights Commission should take suo moto cognisance of the matter and launch a probe.

He alleged there were "some forces who don't want CU to function normally".

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

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