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Students boycotting convocation big mistake: Jadavpur VC
Thursday December 25, 2014 7:44 PM, IANS

A day after many students boycotted the 59th annual convocation of Jadavpur University, Vice Chancellor Abhijit Chakrabarti Thursday said the majority attended the event and those who refused to accept their certificates made a "big mistake".

The convocation was Wednesday marred by slogan-shouting and black flag demonstrations, with a substantial group of students and teachers boycotting the event demanding Chakrabarti's removal.

"Ninety-six percent attended the event while only four percent did not accept their certificates.

"Those who did not accept their certificates made a big mistake in life, because they will have to move forward in the future and this type of incident will be a blot for them as well as for their university," Chakrabarti told a TV channel here.

Despite Governor and university chancellor K.N. Tripathi warning against the move, students and teachers went ahead with their decision to boycott the convocation.

The protest started with students waving black flags at Chakrabarti and shouting slogans seeking his resignation for ordering a police crackdown.

The students also pressed for an independent probe into the alleged molestation of a student in August.

Slogans like "VC go back" and "no negotiations, only resignations" were heard as the entire campus was fortified with the deployment of a large number of policemen.

Members of the Jadavpur University Teachers Association (JUTA) too staged a sit-down protest.

Black flags displaying the words "Go back chancellor" and "Long live revolution" were splattered across the campus.

Bengali department student Geetoshree Sarkar was asked to step down from the dais by Tripathi after she refused to accept the award for the best graduate student.

The students have been clamouring for Chakrabarti's removal since Sep 17 when the university authorities ordered a police crackdown on a sit-in by students demanding an independent investigation into the alleged molestation of a female student inside a hostel.

The incident triggered protest rallies in the city and had a ripple effect across the country, with the alumni holding smaller protest marches in cities such as Delhi and Mumbai.

Through social networking websites, the agitation brought together the Kolkata diaspora and university alumni in solidarity.

Amid the raging clamour for his removal, Chakrabarti, who was the interim vice chancellor, was given full-time responsibility by Tripathi, who is ex-officio chancellor.

The state government later instituted a five-member probe panel headed by Calcutta University vice chancellor Suranjan Das to look into the prima facie facts of the alleged molestation.

Two university students and an alumnus were arrested and subsequently released on bail in connection with the alleged molestation.


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