|Guard Pappu Singh (top) and the campus violence on April 10 at Presidency University
The government has transferred Presidency University guard Pappu Singh to a college in Jhargram despite an order that allowed him to choose within September 18 to stay in the institution or seek a transfer.
A government order on April 22 gave the non-teaching staff the option of staying back at Presidency, following its upgrade to a university, or shifting to some other institution. It states that Group C and Group D employees of the erstwhile Presidency College who want to stay back would not have to submit the option form.
The last date for submitting the form was recently extended from May 7 to September 18.
Singh, who has been with Presidency for the past 15 years and whose father and grandfather too were guards there, was transferred to Jhargram on Tuesday allegedly because the ruling party is unhappy with his remarks that Trinamul supporters had ransacked the campus during the April 10 violence.
Three others have been transferred along with Singh. But 31 non-teaching employees of the institution who had sought to shift about a fortnight ago are yet to be transferred.
Singh said on Wednesday: “I wanted to continue at Presidency and hence have not submitted the option form.”
An education department official said the convention has been to keep a Group D employee of a government college in the same district, within 20km of the institution last served. “Ideally Pappu should be transferred to a government college in Calcutta, not to the far-flung West Midnapore district,” he added.
The transfer order before he could officially make his preference clear has surprised Presidency officials.
A senior official said the transfer order was “absurd”. “It is clear that the move is aimed at punishing Singh. It sends a message to employees on other campuses about their fate if they act like Singh,” a university source said.
The director of public instruction, Dipak Ranjan Mondal, denied that the transfer was essentially punishment. “It is a routine transfer,” he said. “We have not violated any rule by issuing the order to four employees of the erstwhile Presidency College. We have not violated any provision of the Presidency University Act.”
“We could have started proceedings against Singh if we wanted to punish him,” Mondal added.
Many Presidency teachers said it was a vengeful act. “How can the government serve a transfer order when the process of filing the options (stay back or move out) is on,” one of them said.
Students have bombarded social networking sites against the transfer order .
A Facebook post reads: “After April 10, there is another attack on Presidency with the government issuing a transfer order to Pappuda. To every 10th April, there is an 11th. Let the response be equally loud this time!”
Another student commented: “Great! If you can’t stop being the evil, shut out ways so that you’re not called evil… this is the state of our country.”
A senior Presidency official said the transfer would affect the university. “The government has not allowed the university to appoint any non-teaching employee. A file moved by the university has yet to get clearance from the finance department. Transferring college staff at this juncture will cripple the institution,” said the official.