The vice-chancellor of the Jadavpur University Suranjan Das fell ill on Sunday after he along with other officials remained under gherao in the campus for the third day by a section of the students demanding holding of union elections in February.
However, the students lifted their protest after 53 hours after the V-C assured them that he would hold a meeting with Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi in this regard on Monday. The meeting will take place at Raj Bhavan in which the vice chancellor, EC members and the students’ representative will take part.
State Higher Education Minister Partha Chatterjee strongly condemned the incident. Doctors on Sunday treated the V-C inside the university campus and prescribed him some medicines.
To fulfill their demands of holding election in the university campus in February, a section of the students at the university have held the VC, university register Pradip Ghosh and 16 executive council members hostage since Friday evening. The students demanded that the university authorities should reject the government’s advisory against holding polls in February.
Das appealed to the students to withdraw their agitation. He also requested the students to appreciate university’s efforts. Das said the students were like his children and they should remember that teachers are like their family members. But the students seemed not to listen to his appeal and continued their agitation. They said that agitation will continue till university authorities issue circular to hold election.
The V-C also said that university administration had done everything within law to start a dialogue process with the students but all turned futile as the students remained stick to their decision.
The agitating students refused to lift the gherao as the claimed that the executive council of the university has not given them any assurance when they would be allowed to speak to the Chancellor of the university Keshari Nath Tripathi. It has been learnt that Tripathi had expressed his willingness to meet the students.
In its governing body meeting JU authorities decided to hold the campus election in February. The state government refused to hold students election during that time various board examinations are scheduled to take place in February. The state higher education department had written letter asking the university authorities not to hold campus polls in February because of law and order issues.
Education Minister Partha Chatterjee condemned in the incident of gheraoing the vice chancellor for over 50 hours due to which he fell ill. “The students were trying to "malign" the institution which cannot be supported. The students are making the vice chancellor of the university hostage who is their “father like figure”. I strongly condemn the method of students’ movement,” Chatterjee said.
The V-C said a letter has already been sent to Tripathi. “I think he is not in the town now. After he comes we will meet him. A letter has already been sent to his Secretary on the demands of the students. I hope to resolve the situation through negotiations,” Das said.