Bengal government to probe heckling of JU VC at students’ protest

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Kolkata, Feb 21  The West Bengal government on Wednesday said it would probe the heckling of Jadavpur University Vice Chancellor Suranjan Das by a section of students, following which the top official has been hospitalised in a state of shock.

Das was allegedly “pushed” and “humiliated” by a section of protesting students on Tuesday and underwent an X-ray for injuries he purportedly suffered during the scuffle. His condition was stable, said the AMRI hospital.

The hospital said in a statement that Das had “some injuries in his right shoulder, chest and hip,” and would be kept under observation for one more night, since he “did not have sound sleep on Tuesday”.

“Given a history of hypertension and high blood sugar levels, his blood pressure had shot up and he was feeling unwell when he was brought to the hospital’s emergency ward on Tuesday evening,” said the statement.

State Education Minister Partha Chatterjee said on Wednesday Das was in “shock” and disclosed that he has asked for the video footage of the incident.

“It has become almost a norm in this university to start an agitation every year on even non-issues. I have found the intention is to give a taste of campus agitation to every fresher as soon as the admission season is over.

“We need to ask ourselves whether we would besmirch the reputation of one of our best educational institutes both in the state, across the country and even abroad. Why should students push a Vice Chancellor? Is this politics? I am sure the university authorities would take appropriate action after identifying the culprits from the video footage,” he said.

Meanwhile, Das has appealed to the students to stay away from agitations, and said he was ready to speak to them. “They can speak to the authorities and can always reach out to me,” he said.

However, the Vice Chancellor has made it clear that he would neither press charges nor lodge police complaints against the students.

On Tuesday, Das had become a victim of a scuffle between two groups of students, who wanted to place their demands before him as soon as he came out of his office.

The Arts Faculty Students’ Union (AFSU) was pressing for early student council election, while the Trinamool Chhatra Parishad (TMCP) wanted Das to apprise them of the status of a probe into a molestation case. – IANS

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