Published: 07th December 2022
West Bengal: Protesting Visva-Bharati University students squat before VC's car
A woman student squatted first, then others followed suit, preventing the VC from entering his office in the evening
The students of Visva-Bharati University in West Bengal have been protesting over delays in the allotment of hostel rooms for outstation pupils among other issues. On Tuesday, December 6, a section of the agitating students quatted on the road preventing Vice-Chancellor Professor Bidyut Chakraborty from reaching his office.
"A woman student rushed and squatted before his car as the VC was about to leave his residence, located inside the campus, for his office in the evening," a university spokesperson said. "Several other students who were camping outside the gates rushed towards his car and some of them squatted on the ground too," he added, as per a report by PTI.
"The security guards tried to persuade them to leave and Chakraborty went back to his residence. Following this, it has been decided that the VC will discharge his responsibilities from his residence for the time being. Chakraborty is confined in his residence since November 24 as around 15 students are camping outside the gates in support of their demands. He had tried to reach his office on Tuesday for the first time in two weeks," the spokesperson said further.
Meanwhile, the woman student, who squatted before Chakraborty's car claimed that she was heckled by the security personnel. "I was manhandled despite being a woman and a researcher at the university," she alleged, as per PTI.
SFI Visva-Bharati unit leader Somnath Sow said that the students are demanding immediate intervention from the VC in the allotment of hostel rooms for outstation pupils, an issue which has remained unresolved since the pandemic. They are also seeking his intervention to facilitate the evaluation of thesis papers, among other demands, he said.
On November 23, Chakraborty had a heated verbal exchange with the protesting students at his office and alleged that he had been manhandled by them. He added that he would not succumb to any pressure exerted by the students.
Chakraborty had then left for his official residence in the intervening period between November 23 and 24 with the help of security guards. The students, including PhD scholars, had blamed him for displaying high-handed behaviour and alleged that he had abused them, as per PTI.