Jadavpur University has been on the boil since Monday, with students picketing at the administrative building on campus to protest a provision of a Bill that will enable the state government to prescribe rules and procedures for conducting students bodies or unions’ elections.
The agitating students have been demanding immediate revocation of the West Bengal Universities and Colleges (Administration and Regulation) Bill 2017. They demanded formation of a committee with all stakeholders, including majority of student representatives, to enter into a dialogue with the government for immediate revocation of the Bill, which was passed in the state Assembly last year.
Vice-Chancellor Suranjan Das said “I have sent a draft endorsing the unanimous decision of the Executive Council regarding the demands of students to the union representatives and they will communicate to us about their response after their General Body meeting late tonight.”
A meeting will take place between the student unions and the EC on Wednesday, AFSU leader Somasree Chowdhury said. “The sit-in will continue till the V-C and EC take steps to ensure the students union elections are held before January 31, and the students union is not superseded by an apolitical Students’ Council,” an Arts Faculty Students’ Union (AFSU) leader said.
Members of AFSU and Faculty of Engineering and Technology Students Union (FETSU) have been sitting outside Aurobindo Bhavan since 4 pm on Monday. When contacted, the V-C said: “We have been kept confined since 4.20 pm on Monday. They want elections in violation to the Bill. We cannot go against the law, which we have already conveyed to them. We have even gone out of the way to say that the stakeholders can put their demands down in writing, and we will forward it to the government. They are still continuing their agitation.”
Education Minister Partha Chatterjee said, “I don’t feel it is a democratic way. They had approached me and I had spoken to them. I am keeping watch on the developments. If they have any issue, they can come and discuss with us. They should come out of their attitude of ‘do or die’.”
with inputs from PTI