On a day when the Trinamool Congress was further embarrassed by the Central Bureau of Investigation summons to the party’s all-India general secretary, Mukul Roy, West Bengal Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee, scored by ending the four-month impasse at Jadavpur University with the resignation of Vice Chancellor, Abhijeet Chakraborty.
Banerjee walked into the university unexpectedly in the evening and held a brief meeting the university authorities. She then came out and announced that the Vice Chancellor of the University had expressed his desire to resign, which met with a round of applause from students who were on a hunger strike, demanding the same.
“I want peaceful environment to prevail in JU. There must be conducive atmosphere for education. I was concerned about the future of the youth and students. No academic activity was happening at JU for four months. The students of Jadavpur University are very talented,” she said.
Banerjee was accompanied by state education minister, Partha Chatterjee. On Friday, Chatterjee met had all stakeholders–Jadavpur University Teachers’ Association (JUTA), members of the West Bengal College and University Professors’ Association and Vice Chancellor, Abhijeet Chakraborty. He had appealed to them to withdraw the hunger strike, which fell on deaf ears.
Though the protest against the Vice Chancellor had been on since September in the wake of a police crackdown on students–demonstrating for an independent probe into the alleged –molestation of an undergraduate student by fellow students– in the middle of the night, matters came to a head in December when several students and professors boycotted the annual convocation programme.
Topper, Geetoshree Sarkar, had refused to accept the “best graduate” award from Governor, K N Tripathi, when she was called on the dais. Several senior leaders in TMC had supported the students’ stance publicly in recent times.
Today, the JU students were in a different mood. They claimed victory and said that the protests had compelled the state government to bow down to their demand.