The News Minute | September 26, 2014 | 11:19 pm IST
Kolkata: In a setback to the student protestors of Jadavpur University, West Bengal Education Minister Partha Chatterjee on Friday said police had not resorted to cane charges and appealed to the students to stop class boycotts.
His statement comes a day after the probe panel, formed by the state government to conduct preliminary inquiry into the alleged sexual harassment of a female student of the university, submitted its report.
"I saw police did not resort to lathi charge in the video given by the students to Governor K.N. Tripathi. Now it is high time, the students go back to classes and if they have any problems then we can definitely discuss it.
"They should also condemn posters that say 'Kill VC'," Chatterjee told reporters here.
On Thursday, the varsity's pro-vice chancellor stepped down but protesting students refused to withdraw their demand that the Vice Chancellor Abhijit Chakrabarty demit office.
Students have been demonstrating to demand removal of the vice chancellor since Sep 17 when university authorities allegedly ordered a police crackdown to break up a peaceful sit-in for an independent investigation into the alleged molestation of a woman student inside a hostel last month.
On Sep 22, the state government instituted a five-member probe panel headed by Calcutta University Vice Chancellor Suranjan Das. Citing failure to adhere to Vishakha case guidelines, the students raised objections to the panel.
"We will continue with our class boycotts until the vice chancellor steps down. Despite the probe panel's inquiry and the pro-VC stepping down, our demand still stands," Gitashree Sarkar, general secretary of the varsity's students' union told IANS Friday.
Meanwhile, the victim's father has expressed faith in the probe panel and has appealed to the protesting students to withdraw their agitation and "return to their classrooms and textbooks".
On Thursday, West Bengal Governor K.N. Tripathi accused "outsiders" of "creating trouble" at the university, which announced restriction on visitors citing Wednesday's Calcutta High Court guidelines directing the varsity to restore normalcy on campus.
The high court Wednesday directed normalcy be maintained at the university and that agitating students would not block the entry of faculty members, staff and willing students into the campus. It said police outposts should be set up outside the varsity's main gate.
In compliance with the high court order, registrar Pradip Ghosh said the varsity will be regulating entry and exit of people into the varsity from Thursday.He said students, scholars and residents of the university have to use specific gates, they will be required to display identity cards and authorities have to be informed in advance about any 'agitation or protest or assembly', and an area inside the campus has been designated for it.
However, students carried on protests at places other than the designated site.
"We are not following the directives," Sarkar said.