Jadavpur University Vice Chancellor Suranjan Das, who is unwell after forcibly confined to his office room for the third consecutive day today, refused to go home as the protesting students asked him to walk upon their bodies.
Das said he is suffering from diabetes and blood pressure fluctuation and he needs rest.
“But I cannot go home also because they are like my children and sitting on a demonstration. They have said I can leave for home but they will lie down on the path and I would have to walk upon their bodies. I cannot do that,” the VC said.
Besides him, registrar Pradip Ghosh and other officials are under gherao by the protesting students till the authorities announce a date for holding the students’ union elections.
The higher education department had recently issued an advisory to the state-run university asking it not to hold elections to students’ union in February to avoid any disturbance during exams of different boards. The election was supposed to be held in that month.
“The VC has passed the ball to the Chancellor saying it depends on him. Now we will meet the Chancellor with Professor Bimal Roy. Till the time the matter is resolved our gherao will continue,” the protesters said.
Squatting inside the administrative building Aurobindo Bhawan, the students have been shouting slogans and raising placards to press for their demands.
The VC said that a letter has already been sent to the office of Governor K N Tripathi, who is also the Chancellor of state universities.
“He is not here now. After he comes we will meet him. A letter has already been sent to his Secretary on the demands of the students. I hope to resolve the situation through negotiations,” Das said.
In 2014, Das’s predecessor Abhijit Chakrabarti was gheraoed demanding a fresh probe panel in the alleged sexual harassment of a girl student. Fearing threat to life, he called police inside the campus which created a huge furore and Chakrabarti was forced to resign.
In 2013 similarly Professor Shouvik Bhattacharyya was gheraoed by students for 51 hours when he was the VC. He resigned a month later and shifted to IIT Kharagpur.