KOLKATA: West Bengal governor faced massive protests and agitation by the students of Jadavpur University on Monday after he arrived the university premises to preside the institute’s court meeting to decide on the executive council’s (EC) decision to hold the annual convocation without the chancellor.
The students surrounded Dhankar’s car, shouted go back slogans and wrapped the bonnet of the vehicle with a black flag alleging that the governor was acting at the behest of the BJP-led central government on Citizenship (Amendment) Act and National Register of Citizens issues.
Dhankar, who is the chancellor of all state-run universities, had to sit inside his car for around 50 minutes. The students allowed the governor to enter the administrative building, where the court meeting was scheduled to be held after Dhankar assured that he would take their questions and reply.
The governor was again surrounded by the supporters of the Trinamool Congress affiliated union of the non-teaching staffs of the university on the ground floor of the administrative building. After a prolonged stay for over two hours, the governor decided to leave the university. He answered a few questions asked by the students and invited them to Raj Bhavan for another round of discussion if they want.
After returning Raj Bhavan, Dhankar tweeted, ‘’Was at Jadavpur University for two hours. Had interaction with agitated students on various issues and indicated that am keen to connect with them further at Raj Bhawan. The Jadavpur University Court meeting could not be held and instructed VC to have at Raj Bhawan this evening.’’
Hitting out at the state government, Dhankar further tweeted saying the state administration was not at responsive regards his visit to the university.
The court meeting, however, was held after Dhankar left the university.
In an emergency meeting on Saturday, the EC postponed the special convocation of the university after students’ unions threatened to boycott the governor if he is present in the convocation. A decision was taken to hold the convocation without the governor on Tuesday.
Dhankar’s communique to the vice chancellor of the university on Sunday cited regulations—specifically, a provision under the JU Act that specifies that the chancellor can adjudicate any question on whether the EC has acted within its power and a statute that mentions that the convocation date has to be held with the approval of the chancellor, who shall preside over the event.
In a tweet, Dhankar had stressed that degrees awarded in an "illegal" convocation could lead to "serious" consequences, with the degrees having ‘’no sanction, no legality’’.