After getting orders from Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Education Minister Partha Chatterjee is scheduled to visit Jadavpur University on Monday to talk to students who are on an indefinite hunger strike since last Monday and find an amicable solution to end the stalemate.
“I will tell the students what the stand of the state is and what the CM wants me to tell them and hope they will understand,” Chatterjee said after a meeting with Mamata at her residence on Sunday.
Sources said vice-chancellor (V-C) Abhijit Chakraborty had been asked not to go to the university till the logjam was over. Pro V-C Ashish Verma would take additional charges in the main campus while Chakraborty would operate from the Salt Lake campus of the university.
Students had been fasting in front of the administrative office of the varsity since January 5, demanding the resignation of the V-C. The group of protesting students were joined by two more last night, taking the number to 16, while two of them — Avik Ghosh and Shivam Ghosh, had been hospitalised. Of them, Shivam was released on Sunday and he resumed the hunger strike. Another protestor, Sumit Kanjilal, had been warned of his dropping bilirubin level by doctors but he insisted he would continue. Doctors are on a standby round the clock under the instructions of the Education Minister.
Guardians of protesting students will also participate in a token hunger strike for 24 hours, beginning Monday at
Students said anyone from the general public was welcome to join the strike.
Asked about the scheduled meeting with Chatterjee, Pritam Das, chairman of the Faculty of Engineering and Technology Students’ Union (FETSU), said: “We will stick to our primary demand of the removal of the V-C and not budge from that stand. We will listen to what the minister has to say and then in a general body meeting decide whether or not we will lift the hunger strike and what our next course of action would be.”