The West Bengal Human Rights Commission on Tuesday recommended that the Mamata Banerjee government frame a guideline to check student vandalism in educational institutions.
“The state government should formulate a suitable guideline to deal with the cases of unlawful activities by students in educational institutions within two months,” the commission said in its recommendation.
After the vandalism at Presidency University in April, the commission had asked professor Amal Mukhopadhyay, former principal of Presidency College, to investigate. He had spoken to several people, including police chief Surajit Kar Purkayastha, university registrar Prabir Dasgupta and S. Dutta, the officer-in-charge of Jorasanko police station under whose jurisdiction Presidency falls.
Mukhopadhyay had asked Kar Purkayastha to submit a report on anyone from the police force was negligent in his duty during the incident.
The commission made its recommendations following a report from its inquiry team.
The recommendations were made while disposing of the case it had suo motu started on April 11 when outsiders carrying Trinamul Congress Chhatra Parishad flags forced into Presidency and vandalised the campus.
“Even though the law is clear, such guidelines are required because the police often fail to discharge their duties according to law to tackle unlawful activities by students,” it said.
The commission, consisting of its chairman Justice A.K. Ganguly and members Justice N.C. Sil and S.N. Roy, said: “This incident has resulted in serious erosion of values and vitiated the atmosphere in many educational institutions of the state.”
In July, at least 25 people were wounded in a clash between rival factions of the Trinamul-backed student union on Rabindra Bharati University’s Emerald Bower campus.
“Education is the most cardinal factor in social development and without education all other lights are like writs of water. It must be remembered that existing infrastructure in the educational institutions are inadequate and we can ill afford to deplete them further,” it stated in the 13-page recommendation.
The commission has requested the state government to file an action-taken report within two months.
The rights commission had made several recommendations in the past 14 months but the government hasn’t accepted any. It had recommended the state pay a compensation of Rs 50,000 each to Jadavpur University professor Ambikesh Mahapatra and his neighbour Subrata Sengupta for harassment over an online cartoon of the chief minister that the duo had allegedly circulated.
In August, the commission had recommended a compensation of Rs 10 lakh for the family of SFI activist Sudipto Gupta who had allegedly died in police custody after courting arrest during a rally on April 22.