Uttam Kumar Roy leaves in a rickshaw after resigning as the teacher in-charge of Raiganj University College on Thursday. Picture by Nantu Dey
Raiganj, Sept. 12: The teacher in charge of Raiganj University College today resigned from his post citing “regular incidents of protests, demonstrations and confinement in the name of memorandum submission”.
What Uttam Kumar Roy has alleged is a pointer to the problems the college has faced over the last two years, during which four teachers in-charge have come and gone. Of them, at least two have left because of political interference.
About a fortnight ago, around 50 students, who wanted admission to the college for graduation, and their parents confined Roy to his room from afternoon to 1am.
They wanted admission in the college when the institution had filled up all seats.
At that time, Trinamul Chhatra Parishad had blamed the Congress’s Chhatra Parishad for the gherao.
Educationists in Raiganj town said the college had become an arena for Trinamul and Congress to fight their political battles.
Roy, who left the college around 3.30pm today, said after resigning: “Ever since I have taken the charge as TIC (teacher in-charge), there have been regular incidents of protests, demonstrations and confinement in the name of memorandum submission and other issues. I am mentally shattered and could no longer take this stress. I have thus decided to resign from the post and will continue as a faculty member of the college.”
Roy is not the first to have quit the post in the face of student protests and allegedly political interference.
His predecessor Debashish Biswas, who took charge in July 2012, quit after six months in the post of teacher in-charge. Sources said Biswas got fed-up with Trinamul leaders’ interference in the day-to-day affairs of the college.
Trouble in the college started in 2011 when Dilip Dey Sarkar, the then teacher in-charge, was assaulted by a group of Trinamul leaders, including former district president Tilak Choudhury. The Trinamul leaders had come to the college to submit a memorandum, but an altercation ensued after which they assaulted Dey Sarkar. He resigned after this.
Shatrugan Singh, Dey Sarkar’s successor, got involved in a fight with teachers and non-teaching staff for tweaking with the admission procedure. His tenure was not renewed by NBU.
Debashish Biswas was Singh’s successor.
Educationists in Raiganj town said the teachers in charge had repeatedly become victims of the tussle for control of Raiganj town, which is a Congress stronghold of Union minister Deepa Das Munshi but where Trinamul wants to make a base.
During Left rule in the state, the Congress enjoyed unchallenged control over Raiganj.
“The Congress Chhatra Parishad had absolute control over the college. The SFI could not even submit nominations for students’ union elections in the college,” a source in Raiganj said.
That started to change after Trinamul came to power. “Trinamul succeeded in eroding some of the Congress’s base rural areas of North Dinajpur district. Raiganj town continues to be a Congress stronghold. As the college is in the town and has thousands of local youths in it, it is a key target of Trinamul,” an educationist, who did not want to be named, said.
“Over past three-four years, a substantial portion of youths and Congress leaders switched to Trinamul. The party and its union started making attempts to establish a hold over the college and oust Chhatra Parishad. This led to clashes, protests and counter-protests.”
The Congress, on the other hand, “is trying to hold on to its turf”.
The two parties passed the buck to each other when asked about the problems the Raiganj college has faced in the last two years.
“We have our students’ union in the college over decades and not a single incident of assault of a TIC or indiscipline was reported. It is after Trinamul’s entry in to the college that such incidents have started. The TICs deputed in recent times were Trinamul stooges. We want a full-time principal for the college,” said Pabitra Chanda, the Congress general secretary of North Dinajpur, said.
Arindam Sarkar of Trinamul blamed the Congress.
“The Congress and the Chhatra Parishad have realised that students and youths are no longer interested in joining them and are coming to us instead. To stop that, the party and its students’ front are resorting to violence and creating tension in the college, either by confining the TIC till 1am in the name of admissions, or assaulting our supporters,” he said.