Kolkata: Two ministers of the ruling Trinamool Congress government in West Bengal on Friday contradicted on refusal of medals by the students of Jadavpur University at its just-concluded Convocation.
While state's Panchayat and Rural Development minister Subrata Mukherjee stood beside Geetashree Sarkar, a Bengali department student who refused to accept her citation from Governor K N Tripathi, his cabinet colleague Urban Development and Municipal Affairs minister Firhad Hakim came down heavily against her act describing it as an insult to the Governor.
"Geetashree followed a non-violent way to raise her protest by refusing to accept medal from the Chancellor of the University at the Convocation. Somebody may like it, somebody may not. The stalemate at the University continuing for months now should come to an end," Mukherjee said.
But, his cabinet colleague Firhad Hakim strongly criticised the student's act saying "Refusal to accept the medal offered by the Governor, who is also the Chancellor of JU, is nothing but an insult to the Chair. This was not a right act by the student."
A large section of students and teachers wearing black badges had protested during the Convocation on December 24 demanding an impartial probe into the alleged police lathi charge on JU students along with the resignation of the varsity's VC.
The students had gheraoed the JU VC, registrar and others on the intervening night of September 16 and 17 demanding a fresh probe panel to investigate the alleged sexual harassment of a girl student inside the campus on August 28.
The VC had said he feared for his life and called the police, who intervened to break the gherao and arrested 35 students. Many of the students alleged they were brutally beaten up by police inside the campus on that night.
"I told the Governor that I cannot receive the medals and certificate in the presence of this VC. The Governor then asked me to go away," Geetashree had told reporters after coming down from the dais of 59th JU Convocation.