Updated: February 21, 2016 2:43:31 am
West Bengal BJP Saturday slammed Jadavpur University Vice-Chancellor Suranjan Das for refusing to lodge a police complaint against students who allegedly raised “anti-India” slogans recently. The party’s Bengal chief Dilip Ghosh said that had the BJP been in power in the state, “the anti-nationals would have been pulled by their collar” and sent behind bars.
Its national secretary Sidharth Nath Singh, on the other hand, claimed Das was “acting like an appointee of the Trinamool Congress” and said the V-C has “failed to inculcate nationalism in his students”.
The party and the RSS’s students wing ABVP have been up in arms ever since some students of the university allegedly raised slogans in support of JNU students and Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru. They have been demanding that the police arrest these “anti-nationals”, a demand which the V-C outright rejected, emphasising the university will stand by its “tradition” which allows for “freedom of expression”.
Attacking him over his stance, Singh sought to know why the V-C was yet to submit a report on the incident which Governor Kesari Nath Tripathi, who is the constitutional head of the state and also the university’s Chancellor, has sought from him.
“If BJP were in power in the state, then we would have arrested the anti-nationals, irrespective of students and teachers, and would have pulled them by the collar. But, unfortunately, we do not have any authority in the state. Hence I request the state government to take strong action against anyone going against the nation,” said the party president.
Responding to the allegations, Das said his decision (to not take action against the students) wasn’t based on any “political agenda” and he only had the “interests of the university on his mind”.
“I never acted on any political agenda. I always tried to rise above politics and work with the interests of the university in mind and will do so in the future as well,” he said.
“I was the V-C during the tenure of the Left government. The Chancellor appoints the V-C. If he feels that one has the required qualification, he appoints him. Politics should not be brought into it. India is a democratic country where everyone has freedom of expression,” he said, adding, “Singh used that same right to make such a statement.”
Governor Tripathi had Wednesday sought a report on the incident from chief secretary Basudeb Banerjee and the vice-chancellor. After meeting the governor, Das had said that the university’s executive council would meet Monday over the issue of sloganeering on campus.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.