Kolkata: After over two months of a series of student protests that rocked Jadavpur University, Vice Chancellor Abhijit Chakrabarti Wednesday agreed to form an inquiry committee into the events, including alleged police action on students, that transpired on the night of Sep 16-17, it was announced here.
The students have been clamouring for Chakrabarti's removal since Sep 17 when the university authorities allegedly ordered a police crackdown to break up a sit-in of students who were demanding an independent investigation into the purported molestation of a female student inside a hostel.
This was followed by a massive rally Sep 19 when thousands of agitating students and many faculty members demanded Chakrabarti's removal and decried police atrocities.
According to Gautam Maity, Jadavpur local chapter convener of All Bengal University Teachers' Association (ABUTA), Chakrabarti Wednesday responded to the body's demands and consented to their requests submitted in a resolution to the him in the third week of October.
"He has agreed to our requests and written that an inquiry committee will be formed to investigate the happenings and the role of police on the night of Sep 16-17 with all relevant aspects and also the alleged police and cadre atrocities in 2005, 2007 and 2010 in Jadavpur University.
"The notification will be released soon about the details of the composition of the probe committee. We think it is a positive step but we will see in future what happens," Maity told IANS.
The incident had a ripple effect across the country, with students and alumni holding protest marches in cities like 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 K.N. Tripathi, who is ex-officio chancellor of the university.
The state government 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.
After this, two university students and a former student were arrested and subsequently released on bail in connection with the alleged molestation.
Maity said the vice chancellor also clarified in his letter that "the administration does not have any intention to break or prevent any peaceful movement on campus" and would issue a notification shortly to that effect.
"In addition, the role of two students already arrested and later released on bail in the alleged molestation case will be reviewed by a teacher committee to find the facts of the circumstances of the allegation that led to the arrest of two students.
"The situation in the campus has returned to normal. Hence, the administration may appeal to the court to review the interim order of posting police outside the gate. These were our demands," Maity said about the vice chancellor's decision.