Other States

West Bengal Governor prevented from presiding over Jadavpur University convocation

West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar's car being gheraoed by anti-CAA protesters when he tried to enter Jadavpur University campus on Tuesday.

West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar's car being gheraoed by anti-CAA protesters when he tried to enter Jadavpur University campus on Tuesday.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhanka was on Tuesday forced to leave the Jadavpur University without presiding over its convocation by members of the university’s staff association, which is backed by the ruling Trinamool Congress.

Holding black flags and posters, the protesters remained defiant even as university officials urged them to make way for the Governor, who is also the Chancellor of the State-run university. Representatives of the employees union said that as the Governor supported the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), he had no business on the campus and he should return. After waiting for almost 90 minutes, he left for Raj Bhavan. 

Students, who wore badges against the CAA and the National Register of Citizens, did not block the Governor’s convoy. Some of them said they would not have accepted degrees had the Governor presided over the function.

‘Protests engineered’

“The State government has brought situation to this level that the education system has become totally politicised,” Mr. Dhankar said. He accused Vice-Chancellor Suranjan Das of not acting to diffuse the situation. “The Vice-Chancellor said, Sir I am helpless. If you are helpless then give it up.” The “protests have been engineered”, Mr. Dhankar said, adding that those whose job was to control the situation had “set the house on fire”.

Later in the day, the Governor held a press conference at Raj Bhawan and described the “strategy to compromise the position of Chancellor is unfortunate and counterproductive.” He also announced a meeting of all Vice Chancellors of universities on January 13, 2020. Drawing the attention of the Chief Minister, he said that “she cannot afford to be in non-functional mode at such dangerous developments in the temples of education”. “She needs to engage in her role as executive head. The designed confrontation with the Chancellor is not at all in the interest of the education or State,” he said, adding that he wants her to discuss the issue with him.

On Monday, the Governor’s presence at the university had triggered protests by a section of students who asked him about his opinion on the CAA and the attack on protesting students in different parts of the country.

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Printable version | Aug 9, 2020 12:12:10 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/west-bengal-governor-prevented-from-presiding-over-jadavpur-university-convocation/article30387200.ece

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