Bengal: Civil Society Members Protest ‘Killing’ of Jadavpur University Student
Kolkata: A large number of civil society members gathered on the streets in Kolkata on Friday to condemn the unnatural death of a first-year student in Jadavpur University's main hostel, allegedly following ragging by some seniors. The protest march began from Jadavpur Sukanta Bridge up to Taltala EEDF. Some participants were also seen joining the march on wheelchairs.
Among those who joined the protest were actors, artistes, academics, shopkeepers women’s organisations, students, youth, teachers etc.
The march was led by retired professor and women’s leader and Malini Bhattacharya, Professor Debesh Das, film artiste Bimal Chakraborty, Professor Ambikesh Mahapatra, Communist Party of India (Marxist) leaders Sujan Chakraborty, Shatarup Ghosh, among others.
Calling for creating an anti-ragging culture, former and current Jadavpur University students also joined the procession.
"I was a former student and teacher here," Bhattacharya, who took part in the civic march, told People's Reporter. “We citizens want justice for the death of a first-year Bengali student who was tortured and killed here. We demand the required administrative action to be done to put an end to ragging. The administration is failing to meet its obligations," she said.
Ujjal Chattopadhyay, a citizen who participated in the rally, told People's Reporter, "The Central and the state governments are trying to destroy Jadavpur University. They want to finish Jadavpur University. In protest against this, all of us citizens have taken to the streets to protect this university."
Students Federation of India (SFI) leader Debanjan De said, "Trinamool Congress has created the same situation in Kolkata in all the campuses in the state. Today, civil society has come to the streets with only one demand: an anti-ragging cell was created in Bengal during the Left regime. Why is the cell inactive today?"
Chayan Bhattacharya, another student said, "An attempt is being made to defame one of the best universities in India. An all-out protest against this is necessary. The university should be ragging-free. But everyone is seeing how some people started to play politics with it."
CPI(M) leader Sujan Chakraborty said, "Jadavpur University is a proud university. A conspiracy to defame it will not be accepted. Everyone should be united…We want exemplary punishment for the culprits."
Condemning those who are doing “dirty politics” on this incident, he said, “We want no other student's dream to end like this. We want punishment for the culprits, and a ragging-free campus.”
Chakraborty accused the TMC-BJP of creating an “atmosphere of anarchy” in educational institutions of the state, and said that the “healthy environment should be brought back again."
Members of various social organisations, including Save Democracy, also took part in the procession.
The protest unitedly demanded that “the culprits should be severely punished by verifying the incident quickly. The safety of the students should be ensured by creating a ragging-free environment in the educational institutions of the state, including Jadavpur.”
After the “murder” of the first-year student in the main hostel of Jadavpur University on August 9, the police was “forced” to arrest 12 accused in the incident. Various Left student organisations, including SFI, have alleged that those arrested by the police are actually supporters of the ruling party (Trinamool Congress) and the Bharatiya Janata Party - Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (BJP-RSS).
“Several evidences of their ruling party’s connection have emerged through various research project. However, the Trinamool-BJP is continuing the mud-slinging politics by turning this incident at Jadavpur University on its head,” the students alleged.
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