The Weekend Leader - Mamata steps in, Jadavpur VC resigns

Mamata steps in, Jadavpur VC resigns



Jadavpur University Vice Chancellor Abhijit Chakrabarti has resigned, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced Monda, triggering celebrations in the campus where academic activities had been disrupted for months over the students' demand for his ouster.

"Vice chancellor of Jadavpur University has been asked to step down. He has forwarded his resignation letter," Banerjee announced at the varsity campus here as students launched into thunderous applause.

Banerjee Monday met fasting agitators at the campus where parents of the 17 fasting students participated in a 12-hour token hunger strike demanding the removal of Chakrabarti following the September police crackdown on a sit-in by students demanding an independent investigation into an alleged molestation in August.

State Education Minister Partho Chatterjee was also present at the meeting.

"I was concerned about the future of the youth and students. No academic activity was happening at JU for four months. I want peaceful environment to prevail in JU.

"There must be conducive atmosphere for education. Vice chancellor of Jadavpur University has expressed his desire to resign," Banerjee, also the Trinamool Congress supremo, declared to a large gathering of students, parents, teachers and activists.

Banerjee's intervention comes close on the heels of a meeting of student protestors with Chatterjee last week, when the minister had hinted at a possible solution to the stand-off soon.

"We are delighted that the chief minister supported us and solved the issue," a student said amid the din of songs and dances.

A section of the students have been clamouring for Chakrabarti's removal since Sep 17 when the police crackdown took place.

The agitation gained momentum via social networking sites and had ripple effects across many Indian cities.

The alumni particularly lent solid support to the movement.

Governor K.N. Tripathi, who is also the university chancellor, Saturday cautioned Chakrabarti for delaying action in the alleged molestation of a female student and directed him to act immediately.

The governor expressed concern over the deteriorating health of the students who were on fast and asked Chatterjee to take care of their health and provide them all necessary facilities. - IANS

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