Jadavpur unrest: Students continue hunger strike

Kolkata:  Agitating Jadavpur University students Friday continued their 24-hour hunger strike to step up their demand for the vice chancellor’s removal following an alleged police attack on demonstrating students.

Students shouted slogans as vice chancellor Abhijit Chakravarty entered the campus Friday for the first time after being declared a full-time vice chancellor earlier this month.

Ringed by a security detail, Chakravarty and registrar Pradip Ghosh remained seated outside the administrative building as their entry was blocked by the students.

Students staged a peaceful protest through cultural programmes all night long at the university premises Thursday. Sporting black badges and holding aloft blazing torches, students marched outside the varsity campus in south Kolkata Thursday in remembrance of the night of Sep 17.

They have been demanding removal of Chakravarti since Sep 17 when university authorities allegedly ordered a police crackdown to break up a sit-in for an independent investigation into the alleged molestation of a woman student inside a hostel in September.

Thousands of agitating students and several faculty members led a massive rally Sep 19 in central Kolkata demanding Chakravarty’s removal and decrying police atrocities.

The incident had a ripple effect across the country with students and alumni holding smaller protest marches in cities like Delhi and Mumbai. Through social networks, the agitation brought together Kolkata diaspora and university alumni in solidarity.

The state government instituted a five-member probe panel headed by Calcutta University vice chancellor Suranjan Das.

On Sep 26, two university students were arrested in connection with the alleged molestation.

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Free Press Journal