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Campus situation still tense, faculty to work from home: Visva-Bharati administration

However, the admission and examination process, and emergency services will be taken care of, the authorities of the central university said in a statement.

Published: 25th August 2020 01:31 PM  |   Last Updated: 25th August 2020 01:31 PM   |  A+A-

Police detain BJP activists during a protest demonstration over alleged vandalism at Visva-Bharati campus in Kolkata Wednesday Aug. 19 2020. (Photo | PTI)

By Online Desk

KOLKATA: The Visva-Bharati university said on Monday that its faculty members will continue to work from home as the situation is still tense to start activities on the campus.

The executive council of the varsity will review the situation on August 31 and a decision will be taken accordingly, it said in a statement.

However, the admission and examination process, and emergency services will be taken care of, the authorities of the central university said in a statement.

"In view of vandalism today leading to the destruction of university property worth lakhs due to the complete absence of police deployment, it has been decided to bring the matter to the notice of Hon'ble Chancellor (Prime Minister).

"It has been unanimously resolved in the meeting of all directors, principals and HODs to close the university till the situation improves," the statement read.

"We will continue to work-from-home in regard to these activities since the campus is highly volatile and tense. We will continue all the emergency services relating to students' interests, including admission, examination (if it is decided), online teaching (where it has already been started) and other emergency services," it added.

The varsity alleged that its officials were regularly being threatened and subjected to verbal abuse, especially the female staffers, and hence it will not be judicious to ask them to attend office.

The university needs to take care of laboratories in various departments which if vandalised will cause complete disruption to many on-going projects, besides financial loss, it said.

In view of this situation, the teachers concerned agreed to work from home, it said.

Referring to the strong views of a section of ashramites -- the residents of the campus and the neighbourhood, including former students and teachers -- about fencing the Poush Mela ground, the varsity said, "If those who get emotionally swayed by the ideas of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore take care of the security issues, we will be much obliged."

"Help us reclaim the illegally captured/ occupied land and also to extend support, both financial and otherwise, to sustain and spread out the rich legacy that Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore left for the posterity," it urged the ashramites.

"The construction of fence/ barricade/ wall is necessary to protect the university and ensure the security of our students so that nobody is brutally hit/ tortured as it had happened in past when a miscreant came to girls' hostel and killed an inmate years back," it said.

However, a member of the Visva Bharati University Faculty Association said the statement is farcical as the varsity did not stop its administrative and academic functioning after the August 17 vandalism.

"The authority has issued such a misleading statement to cover up their mishandling of the Poush Mela ground issue and other things like the expulsion of a student from the hostel in the past," he said.

The RSS-affiliated ABVP held demonstrations in Kolkata and Shantiniketan against the August 17 vandalisation of property by outsiders over fencing the ground where the famed Poush Mela used to be held, and for a CBI probe into the incident.

The university has decided not to organise the fair held in December.

The district administration has convened a meeting with the university authorities and other stakeholders on Wednesday to look into the matter.

(With PTI Inputs)


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