Presidency University’s convocation venue shifted amid students’ protest

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Kolkata, Sep 11 (IANS) The convocation ceremony of Presidency University was shifted to a film complex outside the campus on Tuesday following students’ unrest.

Students were continuing their campus sit-in to protest against the authorities’ alleged failure to shift them back to the Eden Hindu Hostel. They locked the University preventing the entry of the Vice Chancellor and the teachers.

Explaining the change in the traditional convocation ceremony, Vice Chancellor Anuradha Lohia said: “The students came to me repeatedly and said that the Hindu Hostel is inhabitable. The government was quick with its support but everything takes time. The students should remember they had not come to live in Hindu Hostel, but study in Presidency University.”

The students were adamant and did not accept Lohia’s request.

“We are staying in the campus for so long and some are down with Malaria. Still, the authorities are not bothered and the Hindu Hostel is almost ready but they are still not allowing us to occupy it. So the gates won’t be opened until the hostel is allotted,” one of the agitating students said.

The administration had earlier assured the students that they would be able to shift back by August 1. As that dateline was missed, almost 100 students, most of them boarders of the old hostel, organised a sit-in here from August 3.

Criticising the students’ behaviour, Lohia had earlier said: “How can a group of students take everything in their own hands. This is unlawful. I will not enter forcefully or call the police. If they open the gates we will enter, else we won’t.”

Failing to enter the campus, the authorities decided to hand over the honorary degrees at Raj Bhavan. But the programme was cancelled as no formal advance intimation had been sent to the Raj Bhavan.

Finally, the convocation ceremony was arranged in Nandan Auditorium.

The honorary degrees along with honorary D Litt and DSc were conferred on veteran actor Soumitra Chattopadhyay and scientist C N R Rao.



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