Jadavpur University molestation case: Police end gherao, release 36 students

The West Bengal Police freed 35 students, who were arrested this morning for protesting the molestation of a student on the campus of Jadavpur University.

Kolkata: The West Bengal Police on Wednesday freed 35 students, who were arrested this morning for protesting the molestation of a student on the campus of Jadavpur University.

The police also forcibly lifted the gherao of the Vice Chancellor and Registrar this morning.

Soon after the gherao was lifted, the agitating students had put up blockade in front of Jadavpur Police Station which was lifted on the condition that an independent probe would be carried out into the alleged sexual harassment of a girl student inside the boys' hostel earlier this month, police said.

The 35 arrested students were later released on a personal bond, police said.

Asserting that West Bengal government will not tolerate student indiscipline under any circumstances, state Education Minister Partha Chatterjee, meanwhile, said the impasse at Jadavpur University can be solved through discussions and negotiations.

Talking to a news agency, Chatterjee said students should vent their grievances in a democratic way and not resort to gherao.

"If the agitating students want, they can also talk to the government," he said.

To a question on the alleged police lathicharge to end the gherao, the minister said it was Vice-Chancellor Abijit Chakrabarti, who had sought police help for lifting the gherao and protecting the university property.

"What can I do in this case?" he asked.

University Vice Chancellor Abhijit Chakrabarty and Registrar Pradip Ghose, meanwhile, said that authorities were ready for a discussion with the agitating students to end the impasse.

Students union leaders said they would chalk out a fresh course of action and threatened that the agitation would continue till the authorities apologised for bringing in police inside the campus and resort to "lathicharge to break a democratic movement."

The Vice-Chancellor who was rescued by the police, said he feared that he would have been killed had the police not come.

"I would have died in their hands had the police not come. They were attacking us and I fear we would have been killed," he said.

(With PTI inputs)