April 10, 2009 4:11:45 am
Its one lesson the students of the Jadavpur University may not forget anytime soon.
Acting tough on ragging,the JU vice-chancellor (V-C) and the pro-V-C today refused to relent despite being confined to their offices for over 20 hours by angry students who were demanding they relax the punishment handed out to a third-year student found guilty of ragging a junior.
The gherao,which began around 7 on Wednesday evening,was lifted at 2 pm on Thursday.
Interestingly,the JU officials neither informed the police not asked the universitys security personnel to remove the students who had assembled in front of the gate of Aurobindo Bhavan and did not allow the V-C and pro V-C to return home Wednesday night.
Under no circumstances are we ready to deviate from our decision. The students can keep us confined for as long as they want, said V-C Pradip Narayan Ghosh,adding the guilty student had asked for forgiveness since his culpability was proved.
Rajib Das,a third-year student studying mechanical engineering,was found guilty of ragging a student from international relations last September. He was subsequently suspended for one semester in March this year by the varsity and the punishment was ratified in an executive council meeting on April 8.
Though the protesting students,most studying engineering,dispersed away at 2 pm on Thursday after the 20-hour siege,they said their agitation was not over as yet. We are not backing away; we have just postponed our protests. We will go for class campaign on the issue and are trying to enlist the support of more students, said Agnishwar Chakraborty,vice-chairman of the Faculty of Engineering & Technology Students Union (FETSU).
We are always open for discussions on the issue. If students insist,we can discuss the issue in the next executive council meeting. But we cannot be lenient on ragging, said Pro-VC of the university Siddhartha Datta.
Datta added that as per the Supreme Court guidelines,the University Grants Commission has clearly said its grants would be stopped if any instances of ragging are reported. The University authorities also contradicted claims from some students that they were boycotting classes. About 80 per cent classes were held as usual,officials said.
In the recent past,though instances of ragging have been reported from the JU,the authorities have handed out strict punishments. In a ragging incident last year,over 20 students were found guilty and were punished with suspensions.
Moreover,university authorities have decided to include representatives of print and electronic media along with the nominated members such as superintendent of police and the district magistrate of South 24-Parganas as well as representatives from non-government organisations in the committee.
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