Dialogue fails to end students’ siege of Jadavpur VC

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Kolkata, Jan 9 (IANS) Despite a series of dialogues, agitating students at Jadavpur University here on Saturday refused to end the over 24-hour-long siege of their vice chancellor over holding of students’ union elections.

The students have been demonstrating following an advisory issued by the West Bengal higher education department asking the state-run university to hold the elections after the assembly polls.

“I am hoping we can sort out the issue by discussions. I have faith in the students,” Vice Chancellor Suranjan Das told IANS.

The vice chancellor, the pro vice chancellor and registrar of the university, along with executive council members spent the night inside the campus as protesting students demanded that the vice chancellor notify the elections on February 18.

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The students have sought a tripartite meeting involving the executive council members, students’ representatives and Bengal Governor Keshri Nath Tripathi, who is also the chancellor of the university.

“But we have not got any dates for the meeting. We believe that the university should exercise the autonomy it has to hold the students elections on February 18,” a student agitator said.

State Education Minister Partha Chatterjee has criticised the agitation, saying a section of students was trying to malign the university’s image.

The university has witnessed similar events in the last couple of years. In 2014, students carried out a sustained agitation demanding the removal of then vice chancellor Abhijit Chakrabarti for ordering a police crackdown on students.

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