`Presidency students continue
with sit-in outside VC's office



Kolkata, Jan 24 : A section of students of Presidency University on Thursday continued with their sit-in outside the vice-chancellor's office demanding that the authorities revoke the suspension of three students for locking the varsity's main gate on September 10.

The Vice-Chancellor Anuradha Lohia said the three students should first offer unconditional apology for their conduct.

The agitating students, six of whom were also on an indefinite fast since January 19 are demanding that the varsity authorities immediately revoke the suspension order or share the findings of the inquiry committee, which had recommended the suspension order.

The students are holding the sit-in outside the VC's office since Wednesday afternoon.

The VC told a press meet in her office on Thursday, the inquiry committee had found the three students took the most active role in bolting the main gate and preventing the faculty and non-teaching staff to enter the campus which led to severe disruption of functioning of the institute on September 10.

"These three should first apologise to us for their conduct on that day," she said.

"The agitating students are claiming that if disciplinary action has to be taken, it has to be initiated against all the 400 students who were present at the campus on that day and not just against three. ... our enquiry report points out these three took the initiative in locking the gate ...," she said.

Stating the varsity had not taken action against students for several disruptive agitations at the campus in past, Lohia said, "We had not taken any action at that time.

But locking the gate of an institute on a working day and preventing their own teachers and staff from entering is unethical, unacceptable."

The VC  said while the inquiry committee had recommended action against 21 students for the September 10 incident, "I had waived the suspension order for 18 students and instead only issued them a note of caution while the suspension period of three students was reduced from one year to six months."

She said while the agitating students were claiming they will not prevent her or any other official of the varsity from leaving, "they are on a sit-in before my office since Wednesday afternoon and lying on the floors. It is not possible to leave by jumping over them. We will prefer to be in campus as long as they want."

An agitating student Sayan Chakraborty criticised the VC for terming the indefinite fast by six students as blackmail and asked "if fast is not part and weapon in a democratic movement."

Another agitator Ujan demanded immediate withdrawal of suspension notice or sharing contents of the enquiry committee report with the students.

He said while seven students had initially started the fast, one had become seriously ill and had to be hospitalized and another joined the fast after hospitalisation for a brief period.


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