Published: 30th August 2021
Expelled by VBU, three students sit in protest in front of VC's house for three days straight
Sources privy to the correspondence said that the students had submitted a deposition stating that they were never told what the charges actually are
The Visva-Bharati University has officially rusticated the three students accused of an "alleged act of gross indiscipline and misconduct". After the students submitted their deposition stating why they should not be rusticated, the varsity wrote to them saying that they have reviewed their appeal and have decided to stand by their earlier decision. It's been two days and the students have been protesting in front of the Vice-Chancellor's residence since. The sit-in, they said, will continue till their rustication is revoked. Falguni Pan (I MA Economics), who was rusticated along with Rupa Chakraborty (II MA Hindustani Classical Music) and Somnath Sow (I MA Economics) have also garnered some support from not just their classmates but from civil society as well.
The three students were asked to write to VBU by 1.30 pm on August 27 responding to the letters sent to them, failing which the punishment will be implemented immediately. The students were guided by advocate and Rajya Sabha MP Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya and advocate Shamim Ahmed, but that did not affect the final outcome. The university stood firm on its decision to rusticate the students. "It has been more than 50 hours since we began protesting. Along with students' organisations, locals have also joined the protest and brought out a rally in our support," said Falguni.
Sources privy to the correspondence said that the students had submitted a deposition stating that they were never told what the charges actually are against them and that the enquiry findings are nothing but "mere conjecture" without evidence. They also said that they had done nothing but to participate in peaceful students' agitations. But the Executive Council that met on August 28, decided that they will stand by their "earlier decision". But the varsity has not provided details on the issue or revealed the charges against the students. While the protest goes on, the varsity has not responded to that yet.
While the same students were protesting, almost alone, when they were first suspended earlier this year, they have garnered support from various political and students' organisations from across the spectrum. The Students' Federation of India (SFI), Students' Unity for New Society (SUNS), Visva-Bharati Students' Unity, Revolutionary Students' Front (RSF) and All India Students' Association are among the few organisations that have come out in support of the students and against VC Bidyut Chakrabarty. Chakrabarty has been involved in repeated clashes with the faculty and the students ever since he joined.