Kolkata: Eminent academicians including former vice chancellors from various parts of India Sunday hit the streets here to express solidarity with Jadavpur University students, who were allegedly assaulted by police for staging a protest against the purported sexual assault of a female student.
College and university teachers of West Bengal, besides representatives of teachers’ organisations of 19 states, walked shoulder to shoulder from Dhakuria to the Jadavpur 8B stand near the university, condemning the police assault and demanding the resignation of acting vice chancellor Abhijit Chakrabarty.
Holding a protest meeting besides the Jadavpur Supermarket, they expressed concern over the state of education in West Bengal.
They said the changes introduced by the Trinamool Congress government have taken away the democratic character of the administrative bodies of the colleges and universities.
Former Jadavpur University vice chancellor Ashok Nath Basu, without naming Chakrabarty, said the person “holding the top most position” was educationally, administratively and morally inadequate and incompetent to head such a prestigious institution.
“He should either quit or be removed,” Basu said, demanding a comprehensive probe into the police assault.
He also asked the authorities to ensure that such incidents did not recur.
A day back, thousands of students of Jadavpur, Presidency and Calcutta universities and many colleges were joned by celebrities, alumni and intellectuals in a mammoth rally clamouring for Chakrabarty’s resignation.
Later, a six-member delegation of students from the university met Governor K.N. Tripathi at Raj Bhavan and sought his intervention.
According to the students, Tripathi promised action against anyone found guilty and requested them to call off the ongoing class boycott Monday.
Many students were hospitalised after police allegedly beat them Sep 17 as they were protesting outside Chakrabarty’s office, seeking a fresh inquiry into the sexual harassment of a student in the campus last month.
The police crackdown has been widely condemned, with students and political parties demanding Chakrabarty’s removal.
Both Police Commissioner Surajit Kar Purakayastha and Education Minister Partha Chatterjee have refuted claims that the students were baton-charged or assaulted.