Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee assured chairperson of Presidency Mentor Group Sugata Bose here on Tuesday that there would be no political interference in the functioning of the University and action would be taken against those responsible for vandalism on its premises on April 10.
Prof. Bose, Gardiner Professor of History at Harvard University, along with Higher Education Minister Bratya Basu, met Ms. Banerjee at the State Secretariat and later visited the University.
“She [Banerjee] said Presidency was her dream project and assured us there would be no political interference in the functioning of the University,” Prof. Bose told journalists.
“I have handed over the reins of Presidency University to eminent academicians and have not interfered in the appointment of 150 new faculty members,” he said quoting Ms. Banerjee.
Soon after coming to power in May 2011, Ms. Banerjee announced the setting up of the Presidency Mentor Group that includes academicians of repute like Prof. Bose and Nobel laureate Amartya Sen.
Referring to the incident of vandalism in the University, Prof. Bose recalled that the Mentor Group had issued a statement on April 15 seeking an impartial probe.
“We have full faith in the Chief Minister that an impartial probe will be conducted,” he said.
Despite the “very unfortunate” incident, teaching and learning at the university was not disturbed, he added, congratulating the Vice-Chancellor and other members of the staff for maintaining peace at the campus.
The incident where people carrying flags of the student wing of the Trinamool Congress attacked students on the premises and ransacked the historic Baker Laboratory evoked severe criticism in academic and political circles.
Though the Trinamool Congress leadership denied involvement of its party workers in the incident, footage aired by local television channels showed that a local Trinamool Congress councillor and members of the party’s student wing had tried to break open the lock of the University’s main gate during the disturbances.