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College under siege for Sanskrit course

Cooch Behar, July 31: Members of the Chhatra Parishad-controlled students’ union at University BT and Evening College today gheraoed the principal and teachers for over six hours, demanding the introduction of an honours course in Sanskrit.

The Congress’s student wing has been boycotting classes on the same demand since July 25. The college has over 1,300 students.

The general secretary of the union, Rajkiran Banik, said their agitation was for the “greater interest” of the students. “We have been meeting the principal with our demand for the past two months, but he is doing nothing,” Banik added.

According to Banik, studying Sanskrit ensures jobs for those who can qualify in the School Service Commission examinations. “There is a huge demand for Sanskrit teachers and we are being deprived of the opportunity,” said Banik.

Principal Malay Ranjan Sarkar, however, denied the charge. “I have already met the vice-chancellor of North Bengal University with the demand and have also sent relevant papers to him. The union is not willing to believe this and have boycotted classes. I have informed the varsity authorities about the situation,” Sarkar said.

A source said the pass course in Sanskrit was introduced in the college last year. Since then the union has been demanding an honours course in the subject. There is no sanctioned post for an honours teacher.

“If we introduce the honours course, we will have to hire teachers on contract. We have selected two candidates for the post.Once the university gives the green signal, we will start the course,” the principal said.

Subdivisional officer (headquarters) Jayanta Maity said the college authorities have not informed him about the situation in the institution.

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