JU: Gherao ends,hunger strike begins

Students have announced that groups of 20 will sit on a rotational 12-hour strike from Friday.

Written by Express News Service | Kolkata | Published: September 21, 2013 2:31 am

The gridlock between students and the administration of Jadavpur University refuses to cease with students now having announced to sit on a hunger strike even as they released the university’s vice-chancellor,pro vice-chancellor and the registrar after keeping them under a 51-hour-long gherao. They were protesting the suspension of two final-year students on charges of ragging.

Students have announced that groups of 20 will sit on a rotational 12-hour strike from Friday.

The V-C,pro V-C and the registrar were,since Wednesday afternoon,under a gherao led by the Faculty of Engineering and Technology Students’ Union (FETSU). They have been demanding the lifting of suspension of the two suspended engineering students.

Pro V-C Siddhartha Dutta said,“We are in constant touch with the students,holding discussions to overcome the present impasse. The issue would be resolved soon. We say this on the basis of the university’s tradition and the relationship between the students and teachers.”

The Jadavpur University Teachers’ Association (JUTA),following several meetings with the teachers and students,decided against the use of force to deal with the situation.

Meanwhile,State Education Minister Bratya Basu condemned the gherao,describing it as “blackmail”. He asked the students to desist from such a path and talk to the authorities.

On the students’ demand to revoke suspension,Basu said: “We strongly disapprove of ragging in educational institutions. This will never be tolerated under any circumstances.”

When asked to comment on the students’ claim that no ragging took place,the minister said “it is really for the authorities to decide”. “The university authorities must have been convinced about the ragging,which is why they took the decision,” he added.

The anti ragging committee,comprising teachers and ten students,suspended two final-year students after carrying out a detailed probe into the complaint by a second-year student. Eight of the ten students in the anti-ragging cell accepted the committee’s decision.

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