Published: 18th November 2023
VBU: Students, employees to demonstrate on Nov 21 demanding that ex-VC vacate university bungalow
The demonstrators have several key demands, including ensuring the holding of the Poush Mela this year and urging the former Vice-Chancellor, Bidyut Chakraborty, to vacate the VBU bungalow
Visva-Bharati University (VBU) students and professors will be organising a demonstration in front of the central office of the university on Tuesday, November 21, at 2.30 pm. The demonstrators have several key demands, including ensuring the holding of the Poush Mela this year and urging the former Vice-Chancellor, Bidyut Chakraborty, to vacate the VBU bungalow, which has been allegedly “illegally occupied” beyond his tenure.
Somenath Sow, a master’s student at VBU, states in a statement, “Professor Sanjay Kumar Mallick, the new Acting Vice- Chancellor (VC) has been facing pressure from Prof Bidyut Chakraborty to hinder his work. According to regulations, Chakraborty is obligated to vacate the bungalow once his term as vice-chancellor concludes, but he is resisting and does not want to go. I believe this is all done in order to obstruct the organisation of Poush Mela”.
Students reveal that the new acting VC has sent a ‘polite’ letter to Bidyut Chakraborty, requesting him to vacate the bungalow. However, Chakraborty responded with force, leading students to believe that he had unlawfully occupied the bungalow to disrupt the work of the new VC. “That is how we understand that Chakraborty has illegally occupied the bungalow to disrupt the work of the new Acting Vice-Chancellor and impede the organisation of the Poush Mela,” claims Somenath, in his statement. He further emphasises in his statement that the former VC does not have VBU's best interests at heart, as evidenced repeatedly. Therefore, it is crucial to support VBU's administration under the leadership of the new VC.
It is noteworthy that Chakraborty has faced repeated accusations of "saffronising" the campus and pursuing political vendettas against dissenters since assuming his position in 2018. The university has become entangled in numerous legal cases, with employees and students receiving show-cause notices and suspension orders. These actions prompted prominent figures, including linguist and philosopher Noam Chomsky, to send a signed open letter to President Droupadi Murmu.