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Teachers hit the road

Teachers of Jadavpur University came out of their classes and on the street in front of their campus on Thursday to protest the assault on a colleague during the Suci-sponsored bandh on Monday.

Most classes were not held during the post-lunch session because of the half-day ceasework called by the Jadavpur University Teachers’ Association (Juta). Teachers from almost every department participated in a silent procession — first around the campus and then on the road in front — wearing black badges.

Juta vice-president and mechanical engineering teacher Tarun Kanti Naskar was beaten up in front of the university gates on Monday when he was returning to his quarters on the campus after attending a small pro-bandh meeting.

According to the FIR he filed on Tuesday with the Jadavpur police, the assailants snatched his spectacles after beating him up and abusing him, allegedly in front of a policeman.

The policeman “helped” — by “asking” the assailants to return the spectacles to Naskar — but did nothing to round them up or prevent them from roughing up the teacher.

Jadavpur police on Wednesday arrested five of the six assailants but the teachers’ ire was directed more at the university authorities on Thursday. The reason: the university, to date, has taken no action against the non-teaching employee (belonging to a CPM-affiliated union) who allegedly helped the assailants identify Naskar and then fled the spot.

Decrying the “politics of violence”, Juta on Thursday appealed to the authorities to adopt a “non-partisan” approach to restore teachers’ confidence and a sense of security on the campus.

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