Visva-Bharati students continue sit-in outside VC home

Visva-Bharati students continue sit-in outside VC home, seek support from people

At least 40 people are sitting in groups near Chakraborty's residence, holding posters

Credit: iStockPhoto

A group of Visva-Bharati university students continued their sit-in outside the official residence of Vice-Chancellor Bidyut Chakraborty for the third day on Sunday in protest against the expulsion of three students around a week ago.

The three, expelled by the central university for alleged disorderly conduct during a protest against the VC on the campus on January 9 this year, issued an open letter to the public seeking their support on the issue.

"We have been subjected to revengeful and vindictive behaviour by the VC who expelled us for three years and brought doom to our career. We are like your sons and daughters. Please be on our side till the last moment of the fight," read the letter addressed to "every right-thinking person".

Other protestors who were in the demonstration that started on late Friday evening claimed they had been agitating in the interest of students and to protect Rabindranath Tagore's Visva-Bharti from "ruin".

At least 40 people are sitting in groups near Chakraborty's residence, holding posters that read "We want the withdrawal of three-year expulsion order against our friends" and "Fascist VC, please leave Visva Bharati".

The VC could not be contacted.

Some of the ashramites and members of a local traders' body, which had protested against the university's decision to erect fencing around the famous Poush Mela ground last year, visited the demonstration site in the past two days to pledge solidarity, spokesperson of the SFI unit in Visva-Bharati, Somnath Sow said.

Sow, one of the expelled students, said, "We earned the wrath of the university when we spoke against the suspension of over 10 professors on the charge of airing individual opinions over the state-of-affairs at the university under the incumbent VC. We are facing the heat for holding protests against CAA-NRC and entry of right wingers from outside."

The three, two of whom are students of the economics department and one of the music department, were put under suspension in January. They were rusticated for three years on August 23.

A Visva Bharati official said the students were given chance to defend their case before the enquiry commissioner appointed by the university, but they were "adamant and unapologetic".

Meanwhile, the university authorities in a fresh communique to Rupa Chakraborty, the music department student, said the Executive Council got her letter regarding the expulsion but stuck to "the earlier decision, communicated to you on August 23.

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