Student protest forces Governor to leave venue of CU convocation
Kolkata: Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar was compelled to leave the annual convocation venue of Calcutta University on Tuesday, after a section of students blocked his way, waving black flags and raising 'go-back' slogans flaunting 'No CAA' and 'No NRC' posters both inside and outside the venue.
The Governor, who happens to be the chancellor of the university, reached the convocation venue at around 12.50 pm and was greeted with 'go-back' slogan by the students.
He headed straight to the green room, soon after which a section of students resorted to protest inside the auditorium just in front of the stage. The university authorities made several requests but the agitators insisted that the Governor must not take to the stage.
They sported banners and posters that branded the Governor as an agent of BJP and a supporter of NRC and CAA. Vice-Chancellor Sonali Chakravarti Banerjee appealed to the students to calm down and take their seats.
"Professor Abhijit Vinayak Banerjee has come from abroad as the university has invited him to confer upon him honorary D.Litt. If you do not take your seats I will not be able to do the same or deliver my welcome speech to kick off the proceedings," Banerjee said during the ruckus.
However, the students refused to pay heed and the protests continued for nearly half an hour. It was only after the Vice-Chancellor assured that the Governor had left the venue that the students returned to their seats and the convocation started at around 1.20 pm, 20 minutes later than schedule.
After delivering her welcome address, Banerjee handed over honorary D Litt (honoris causa) to Nobel Laureate Abhijit Vinayak Banerjee.
In his convocation address the Nobel Laureate, who was a former student of Presidency College under Calcutta University, said that it
was homecoming for him and expressed his gratitude to the authorities of CU for bestowing the honour upon him. He then spoke elaborately on his work that earned him the Nobel prize.
Meanwhile, taking to Twitter, Dhankhar later shared pictures of his rendezvous with the Nobel laureate in the green room and said: "The uppermost thought in mind while leaving Calcutta University without attending the Convocation is to ensure there is no compromise of the immense respect we have for Nobel laureate Abhijit Vinayak Banerjee on whom we are conferring honorary D Litt (honoris causa)."
The V-C later told reporters that the university statute has provisions enabling the V-C to preside over the convocation in the absence of the chancellor.
Last month, Dhankhar had faced similar protests at Jadavpur University during the convocation ceremony and had to return from the venue.
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