State may intervene when required: Bengal minister on varsity autonomy

Kolkata, Sep 15 (IANS) Amid allegations that the ruling Trinamool Congress was infringing upon the autonomy of West Bengal’s educational institutions, Education Minister Partha Chatterjee on Tuesday asserted the state government’s right to intervene when matters involved law and order.

In the wake of several instances of campus violence and student agitations, opposition parties CPI-M, Congress and the BJP as well as educationists have been attacking the Trinamool, alleging it of establishing “partycracy” in educational institutions.

“The state government would prefer that any internal matter is looked into by the internal body.

“But when it is seen that during functioning, there is a role of the state, there are questions on law and order, finance and there are disputes in areas where there is a role of the state, the state government can’t sit quietly,” Chatterjee said here at an event.

“In those cases, it will have to take action,” he added.

On Monday, the Trinamool legislator from Diamond Harbour, Dipak Haldar, was arrested for campus violence following “orders” by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

Haldar, who was on Tuesday granted bail, allegedly instigated activists of the Trinamool students’ wings to vandalise and capture the union office of Fakir Chand College in Diamond Harbour.

Following a sustained agitation by Jadavpur University students demanding the removal of vice chancellor Abhijit Chakrabarti for ‘ordering a police crackdown’ on students, Mamata Banerjee visited the university campus to announce Chakrabarti’s resignation.

A host of educationists and political parties had objected to the chief minister announcing the resignation, claiming it was an “infringement of the university’s autonomy”.

Similar views were expressed by academicians after Presidency University vice chancellor Anuradha Lohia recently “expressed her gratitude” to the chief minister for releasing funds due to the university.

Lohia had bowed before Banerjee after being handed over documents of the funds at an event in the university.

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