Kolkata: Jadavpur University students continued their sit-in to protest against the provisions of a bill which has been passed in the assembly continued for the second day on Friday, with Vice-Chancellor Prof Suranjan Das expressing helplessness over the situation.
The provision in the West Bengal Universities and Colleges (Administration and Regulation) Bill-2017, against which the students are protesting, will enable the state government to prescribe rules and procedures for conducting students’ body or union election. It was passed in the assembly in February this year.
The agitating students were demanding that the JU Executive Council (EC) adopt a resolution describing the government step as “undemocratic” and “unacceptable”.
“We will not withdraw our agitation till the EC meeting passes such a resolution,” Arts Faculty Students’ Union (AFSU) spokesperson Somasree told PTI.
AFSU and Faculty of Engineering and Technology Students’ Union (FETSU) are holding the sit-in.
The VC said that he, the EC members, the Deans, Pro-VC and Registrar have agreed to communicate students’ demands to the government in a letter where words like “widest manner” and “possible consensus” and “unacceptable” would be included.
“I am feeling upset. This is the most the EC can do within the parameters of law to communicate the student unions’ reservation about the council model mooted in the bill,” Das told reporters at the Aurobindo Hall of JU where he was stuck with EC members because of the of the agitation.
The students should understand that grievances should be aired in proper forum, he said adding that students in London had protested over fee hike three years ago but they agitated in a public square and not in Cambridge.
Das said he wants the students to sit for dialogue with the government.
Asked what will they do if the students did not lift the sit-in, Das said, “We will not move out. They said unless we endorse their demands fully, we will have to leave by trampling their posters and bodies. Tell me is that possible!”
To another question he said, education minister Partha Chatterjee and Governor K N Tripathi have called him up and inquired about the situation.
A FETSU member said, “the EC told us no more change in draft resolution can be effected and we will chalk out next course of action tomorrow. But the sit-in will continue.”
AFSU leader Somasree said, “We hope the EC will not just forward a letter but endorse the stand of the students against the undemocratic step to supersede democratically elected students union by an appointed apolitical student council.