Press Trust of India|Jun 23, 2022
Teachers' bodies protest against heckling of Aliah University Vice-Chancellor
Visva Bharati university said the police should take similar steps against those students who had gheraoed senior authorities, registrar in recent times.
Kolkata: Protesting against the heckling of Aliah University Vice-Chancellor Prof Mohammad Ali by a former student leader, teachers' bodies on Monday demanded that the West Bengal government take the responsibility for creating a healthy learning environment on the campus.
Ali was subjected to verbal abuse by Giasuddin Mondal, the former student leader, and his supporters inside the VC's chamber on Friday. Video footage of the incident went viral and Mondal was arrested on Sunday.
Mondal was earlier expelled from the Trinamool Congress Chhatra Parishad, the student wing of the ruling TMC, in 2018 for being involved in a brawl. A source close to the VC said he is not in favour of going back to university, which is under the state government's Department of Minority Affairs and Madrasah Education, and after the expiry of his term in a month, he will return to Jadavpur University, where he was a teacher in Chemistry department.
"We are deeply concerned at the manner in which an expelled student leader of the ruling party in Aliah University, together with his gang, entered the office of the VC and harassed him with abusive language and continuous threats," the All Bengal University Teachers Association (ABUTA) said in a statement.
The situation represents the picture of the state's overall education scenario, ABUTA General Secretary Gautam Maity claimed. "The way they threatened Prof Ali in his chamber, hurled the choicest abuses at him and almost assaulted him physically is not only totally unacceptable but also needs to be condemned in the strongest possible manner," Jadavpur University Teachers' Association said in a statement.
Ali, a senior professor of Jadavpur University on lien to Aliah University, could not be contacted but a source close to him said after expiry of his tenure as VC, he would return to JU and not agree to any offer of extension of the term.
"He is very upset. He still cannot believe 22-24-year-old people, who are like his children, can use such filthy words during a protest. He does not want to continue in Aliah anymore," the source said.
Mondal was reportedly miffed over alleged anomalies in the PhD list of postgraduate students and wanted the list to be scrapped and replaced by another. After the April 1 incident, the VC did not attend the university. A Trinamool Chhatra Parishad leader of Aliah University demanded strict punishment for not only Mondal but also Jim Nawaz, another former TMCP functionary, who had threatened the VC to slap him.
"The incident has tarnished the image of our institution. Giasuddin and Nawaz led the demonstration inside the VC's room and used filthy words against him and even threatened to beat him up," he said.
Meanwhile, in a related development, Visva Bharati university said the police should take similar steps against those students who had gheraoed senior varsity functionaries including the registrar in recent times and used abusive words against them.
Congratulating the West Bengal government for taking steps against Mondal, a spokesperson of the central institute said in a statement: "The conduct of the youths masquerading as students in the Visva- Bharati campus last month was certainly not like students. They had tormented the functionaries throughout the night forcing them to step down."
No help came from the police or Birbhum district officials, he claimed. "After the Aliah incident, let's hope our police friends will come to our help in similar situations in future. Let's hope Visva-Bharati will not be a stepdaughter for the local administration," the statement read.
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