Students gherao Visva-Bharati University V-C for 12 hours, seek resignation

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Visva-Bharati University (VBU) Vice-Chancellor Prof Bidyut Chakrabarty was gheraoed in his office for 12 hours by a section of students demanding his resignation before he managed to get out of there in the wee hours of Thursday.

A university official said that Chakrabarty with the help of security guards left his office and reached his residence at around 2am. While Chakrabarty was leaving the office, another round of scuffle broke out between the security staff and the agitating students, he said.

A section of students gheraoed the V-C on Wednesday, alleging that the university authorities were not allowing some students to take admission and appear in the examinations.

They also accused the authorities of stopping some students from pursuing their PhD, saying Chakrabarty must resign from his post.

Somnath Sow, a university student, said that security guards beat up the protesters and forcibly lifted the gherao to help Chakrabarty leave his office. “The students were heckled by the security guards,” said Sow.

The university authorities, however, claimed that no one was removed forcibly from the protest site. “The vice-chancellor had to leave the office. It was done with the help of security guards. No one was beaten up,” said an official.

The V-C had claimed on Wednesday that he was manhandled by some students who had stormed into his office.

Also, the Visva Bharati University Faculty Association in a statement on Wednesday alleged that Prof Chakrabarty was solely responsible for the outburst of the aggrieved students.

“The entire Visva-Bharati community strongly supports the demonstration by the students and demands Prof Chakrabarty’s resignation as the only solution to this situation,” it said.