Jadavpur stir: After students, parents on hunger strike

Scaling up the ongoing protest at the Jadavpur University campus here, parents of the 17 fasting students Monday took part in a 12-hour token hunger strike demanding the removal of vice chancellor Abhijit Chakrabarti.

Kolkata: Scaling up the ongoing protest at the Jadavpur University campus here, parents of the 17 fasting students Monday took part in a 12-hour token hunger strike demanding the removal of vice chancellor Abhijit Chakrabarti.

Ten students began an indefinite hunger strike Jan 5. The number swelled to 17 by Monday. Three of the 17 were hospitalised due to their deteriorating health.

"Two of those hospitalised rejoined the fast after they were discharged from hospital. Today (Monday), parents of the fasting agitators are participating in a 12-hour token strike. Even parents of students not on strike and some members of the public have joined," Gitashri Sarkar, representative of the university students` union, told IANS.

A section of 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 an alleged molestation that took place in August.

West Bengal Governor KN Tripathi, who is also the university chancellor, Saturday cautioned Chakrabarti for delaying action in the alleged molestation of a female student and directed him to act immediately.

The governor expressed concern over the deteriorating health of the students who were on fast and asked state Education Minister Partha Chatterjee to take care of the fasting students` health and provide them all necessary facilities.

Chatterjee Friday met a section of the protesting students and said he had apprised Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee of the situation.

He said they were trying to reach a solution, though it was not clear what shape it would take.

The minister was expected to visit the university campus Monday, said Sarkar. 

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