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Visva-Bharati in Calcutta High Court to lift gherao of V-C amid protests

The Vice-Chancellor has also written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, seeking his intervention.

By: Express News Service | Kolkata |
September 2, 2021 2:59:40 am
Students protest outside the central office of Visva-Bharati University in West Bengal. (PTI)

Amid the ongoing student protests at Visva-Bharati University against the rustication order issued against three students, the authorities on Wednesday filed a writ petition before the Calcutta High Court alleging inaction of the police administration in direct violation of an order issued by the state government. The Vice-Chancellor has also written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, seeking his intervention.

According to sources, the varsity authorities will also seek the court’s intervention in normalising the situation on campus.

A section of students has surrounded the home of Vice-Chancellor Bidyut Chakraborty since the night of August 27, demanding the withdrawal of the rustication order of Somnath Sow, Falguni Pan and Rupa Chakraborty. The three were expelled from the institution on August 23 for “disrupting the academic atmosphere”. The three were protesting against alleged bids to saffronise the varsity.

Varsity sources said the petition, filed on behalf of the V-C, would seek a direction from the high court to quell the ongoing protests and restore normalcy on campus through the deployment of police personnel.

On Wednesday morning, the VC wrote a letter to the varsity’s ‘Acharya’ (Chancellor), Prime Minister Narendra Modi “seeking release” from the siege. Over the past three days, Chakraborty has claimed that he is under house arrest and neither him nor his family members were able to get food and drinking water.

The V-C briefed the PM on the sequence of events through the letter, urging his intervention in ensuring an end to the ‘siege’ at the earliest.

Multiple allegations have been raised by the varsity authorities against the protesting students, including the locking of the front gate to the central office and trying to enter the VC’s residence by climbing over the gate.

A senior university official said, “We have learned from reliable sources that the vice-chancellor has sent an email to the university’s chancellor. The whole incident has been detailed in the letter. He has asked to be freed from the siege and has also sought the restoration of normalcy on campus.”

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