Updated: August 11, 2017 2:37:26 pm
The students’ agitation at Jadavpur University entered the second day on Friday after authorities refused to reject the Kolkata government’s order to turn the varsity students’ unions apolitical. The sit-in demonstration, which locked the Vice-Chancellor, Registrar and other officials in the administration building of the varsity, had begun at 2 pm yesterday.
Appealing to students to end their agitation, Vice-Chancellor Suranjan Das asked them to understand that the university was compelled to abide with the order issued by the state government. “The state government has issued the order and being a state university we have to accept it. The students must understand that we have to abide by it. There can be various opinions regarding the order but there are democratic ways to convey it,” Das said.
Seeing students squatted at the entrance of Aurobindo Bhavan, the administrative building, and shouting slogans against university authorities, Das barred officials from leaving the building. However, students maintained that the protest was peaceful. “We have not gheraoed the officials. They are free to go. But they will have to go through us,” an agitating student said.
Students belonging to the three students’ unions at the university staged a sit-in-demonstration on Thursday demanding that the Executive Council (EC), the highest-decision making body of Jadavpur University, reject the government order and continue holding students’ union polls. They also demanded that the EC adopt a resolution and recognise the government order as “undemocratic and unacceptable”.
“We openly reject the state government’s order to turn students’ union into students’ council. We had placed our demand before the EC that it must recognise the order as undemocratic and unacceptable, keeping in view that all university stakeholders are against the order. Unless the authorities accept our demands, we will not lift our agitation,” said first-year PG student of Film Studies department, Sounak Mukhopadhyay to The Indian Express.
The state government had issued an order in June directing authorities to make students’ unions apolitical and empower a teacher at respective universities to handle union funds. The government had proposed that instead of students’ unions, state colleges and universities will have student council, modelled on the St. Xavier’s College system. Yesterday, the EC met at the university to discuss academic and administrative matters. A discussion on the structure of the proposed students’ council was also held.
There are three students’ unions at Jadavpur University. The Arts faculty students union is ruled by SFI, while the Engineering and Science unions are ruled by independent students’ organisations, Democratic Students’ Front (DSF) and We The Independent (WTI) respectively.
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