India: Protests Continue on Kolkata Streets Against Jadavpur Police Assault

By IANS, 19 September 2014

KOLKATA: Students of Presidency University Friday hit the streets to express solidarity with Jadavpur varsity protesters, condemning the alleged police assault on them while the father of the female student whose sexual harassment triggered the disturbances squarely blamed the vice chancellor for the mess.

“The vice chancellor (Abhijit Chakrabarty) is totally responsible for what happened Tuesday night,” said the father of the victim, who was allegedly dragged into the boys’ hostel and molested by a group of 10 students last month.

The father said while lodging a complaint about the harassment of his daughter to Chakraborty, he had appealed to the top university official to give him an assurance about the girls’ security.

“I asked him whether he would take responsibility for my daughter’s security. But he said ‘No, I can’t take responsibility about providing security to any girl on the campus’. He also told me that he cannot allow police inside the campus, as it would give the university a bad name.

“Then why did he call the police on Wednesday? I am concerned about those fighting for my daughter. When I saw their faces I felt so much pain,” said the father.


Her plight had started the trouble in the university with the students demanding exemplary punishment of the culprits.


The students had also protested against the inclusion of two particular names in the panel formed to probe the girl’s harassment.


The latest standoff between the students and the university authorities began over the vice chancellor’ refusal to accept the demand.


Meanwhile, the head of the university’s philosophy department Soumitra Basu has resigned citing “personal” reasons.


However, Basu told a television channel that he felt the “pricking of conscience” at the way police beat up the students.


The protests over the police assault continued on the city streets.


Students of the famed Presidency University marched in solidarity with the protesting students from their College Street campus for the city police heardquarters at Lal Bazar. They demanded Chakrabarty’s resignation and exemplary punishment of police personnel who beat up the students.


Some university professors, alumni and students of a few other colleges joined the march.


After police stopped the march, a delegation of students handed over a memorandum to city police officers.


Members of the rights organisation Association for the Protection of Democratic Rights also brought out a rally.


The state unit of the Congress met Governor K.N. Tripathi and sought a judicial probe into the police assault.


Many students were hospitalised after police allegedly beat them Sep 17 as they were protesting outside Chakrabarty’s office, seeking a fresh inquiry into the sexual harassment of a student in the campus last month.


The police crackdown has been widely condemned, with students and political parties demanding Chakrabarty’s removal as the vice chancellor.


Both Police Commissioner Surajit Kar Purakayastha and Education Minister Partha Chatterjee have refuted claims that the students were baton charged or assaulted.


The Times of India

Jadavpur University students protest against police action in JU

Debasis Konar, TNN | Sep 17, 2014


KOLKATA: Students of Jadavpur University are staging a protest, as last night police had lathi charged to lift gherao of the VC Abhijit Chakraborti.


The police were summoned by the VC when he was not allowed to step out after an executive council meeting on Tuesday evening. Some students had been demanding an independent probe as a student had alleged molestation during university fest last month, but the VC said that an internal probe team had been set up as per Supreme Court guidelines. He refused to have external members in the probe team.


The student had also lodged complaint with the police that she was mentally harassed by two members of the probe team who went to meet her at her home. The police lathi charged around 2 am and lifted the blockade and several students were injured in the police action. Police arrested 34 students. Students complained that the lathi charge happened in presence of additional CP Debashis Roy who initially came to negotiate with the students, but as talks failed he asked for lathi charge. Police had switched off lights and swung into action, students alleged and in the lathi charge some journalists were also injured.


Students blocked the road in front of Jadavpur police station and students from different parts were gathering in front of the police station to protest. The students demanded resignation of the VC, as the VC summoned the police and the policemen lathi charged without any provocation.


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