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Seat protest at Visva

Santiniketan, Aug. 31: Around 150 applicants for the B.Ed course at Visva-Bharati today gheraoed the principal of Binoy Bhavan for four hours accusing the authorities of delaying the implementation of an order to double the seats from 100.

Binoy Bhavan principal Benudhar Chinara was held up in his chamber for four hours from 11.30am as the students protested outside. B.Ed classes are held at Binoy Bhavan.

The decision to double the number of seats was taken on August 21 at a meeting of the National Council for Teachers’ Education, which agreed to the varsity’s proposal to admit 100 students more to the course.

Some of those who have already been selected for the B.Ed course also joined the agitation.

A team of guards led by security in charge, Supriya Ganguly arrived around 2pm and requested the agitators to leave. Varsity registrar Mani Mukut Mitra accompanied the 50-odd guards.

When the agitators, some of whom had entered Chinara’s chamber, refused tomove away despite requests from Ganguly, the guards entered and dragged them out.

A scuffle ensued and several woman agitators later complained that there were no female guards.

One of the agitators, Shabnam Mostafi, alleged that a security guard had taken her snap on his cellphone.

“He was very rough. He caught my arm and dragged me out. He even took my photograph on his mobile phone. I will appeal to the vice-chancellor to take note of this and take appropriate action against the guard,” Mostafi said.

Another agitator, Paromita Mondal, made a similar complaint and showed red marks on her arms. “The registrar pointed a finger at me and said, ‘this is the girl who is creating problems’,” she said.

Asked about this, registrar Mitra refused to comment.

He added: “There will be no injustice to the students. But, they will also have to abide by the decision taken by the authorities.”

Sources said the varsity was yet to receive a written order from the council.

The registrar, however, did not clarify why the students were not being admitted despite the doubling of seats.

Repeated calls to security in charge Ganguly went unanswered.

Visva-Bharati spokesperson Amrit Sen, too, did not pick up his phone.