Sunday, December 10, 2023

Jadavpur unrest: Students participate in referendum

Kolkata, Oct 30 (IANS) Jadavpur University students Thursday took part in a referendum in their bid to prove that they were unanimously demanding the resignation of Vice Chancellor Abhijit Chakrabarti.

The students have been clamouring for the removal of Chakrabarti since Sep 17 when the university authorities allegedly ordered a police crackdown to break up a sit-in demanding an independent investigation into the alleged molestation of a female student inside a hostel.

“We want to democratically provide a means for the students to express their wish. Majority of students are rooting for his removal. However, those who are in favour of the vice chancellor staying can tick the appropriate column,” Gitashree Sarkar, general secretary of the university students’ union, told IANS.

The referendum will continue till Oct 31.

She said results will be declared on the same day. Students across all disciplines took part.

Thousands of agitating students and several faculty members led a massive rally Sep 19 in Kolkata, demanding Chakrabarti’s removal and decrying police atrocities.

The incident had a ripple effect across the country with students and alumni holding smaller protest marches in cities like Delhi and Mumbai. Through social networking sites, the agitation brought together the Kolkata diaspora and university alumni in solidarity.

Amid the raging clamour for his removal, Chakrabarti, who was the interim vice chancellor, was last month given full-time responsibility by West Bengal Governor K.N. Tripathi, who is ex-officio Jadavpur University Chancellor.

The state government has instituted a five-member probe panel headed by Calcutta University Vice Chancellor Suranjan Das.

Two university students and a former student have been arrested in connection with the alleged molestation.

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