Kolkata, Aug 12 (IANS) A section of Jadavpur University students, who were protesting against the West Bengal government’s directive to replace the existing students union with a nominated students’ council, called off their agitation early on Saturday after nearly 36 hours of demonstrations.
The students had launched a sit-in demonstration inside the varsity premises laying siege to the administrative offices and preventing Vice Chancellor Suranjan Das and other officials from leaving the campus since Thursday afternoon.
The protests were withdrawn after the students got an assurance from the Vice Chancellor that their concerns would be conveyed to the state government.
“The protest was lifted around 1.30 a.m. to 2 a.m. on Saturday. The Executive Council — the highest policy making body of the institute — has written to the government that stakeholders are opposed to the decision. However, we can’t give any opinion on it. We have just conveyed the message,” said university registrar Pradip Ghosh who had signed the statement.
The state government has rolled out a new “apolitical” system of student union elections across all state-aided colleges and varsities in June this year instead of the elected students’ body structure.
Under the umbrella of the Faculty of Engineering and Technology Students’ Union (FETSU), students across all disciplines had demanded the Executive Council oppose the order.
The students voiced their concern about “the curbing of students’ rights” through the new students council.
Das on Friday had appealed to the students to end the agitation.
“Since we are a state university, we have to follow the order,” he said.
The new model eschews political association in student body elections.
Under the new model, a teacher in every institution will be responsible for handling funds allowed to the students’ council.
A union will have office-bearers ranging from seven to over 10 depending on the size of the college.