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College head quits over ransack

A student agitation allegedly backed by Trinamul at north Calcutta’s Maharaja Srischandra College has prompted the teacher-in-charge to quit, citing humiliation as one of the reasons.

Partha Sarathi Bhattacharya submitted his resignation to Trinamul MLA Sashi Panja, president of the Shyambazar institution’s governing body, on November 27. The governing body accepted it on Saturday.

Bhattacharya, who had been in charge at Maharaja Srischandra College since July 2012, confirmed to Metro that a ransacking incident on November 22 was the trigger for his resignation.

“I had been contemplating resigning for months. That incident was the flashpoint. I was disappointed that despite a police complaint with Shyampukur police station about the ransacking, no action was initiated. The vandals are roaming free in the college,” Bhattacharya said.

About 100 students allegedly backed by the Trinamul Congress Chhatra Parishad had ransacked the common room and offices on November 22 to protest the authorities’ refusal to fund a function.

The students had met the former teacher-in-charge on November 7 to seek Rs 75,000, saying they would use the money to organise a function for freshers. Bhattacharya apparently refused on the grounds that the college did not have an elected student union.

An officer at Shyampukur police station said the incident was “being probed”.

According to Bhattacharya, a section of students would cause trouble on the campus every day on some pretext.

He also complained about humiliation at the hands of a section of governing body members who had allegedly pressured him to recruit seven non-teaching employees beyond the sanctioned strength. “I resisted the move and they humiliated me and stalled proceedings at governing body meetings,” he said.

Bhattacharya said some local political leaders would allegedly pester him to admit students beyond the sanctioned capacity. He intends meeting Calcutta University’s vice-chancellor Suranjan Das on Monday to explain his reasons for resigning.

A member of governing body contested the allegations, saying Bhattacharya had resigned because he was unable to run the college properly.

In September, the husband of Sima Chakrabarti, principal of Maharani Kasiswari College, had lodged a complaint with Shyampukur police station against MLA Panja for allegedly threatening her over phone for removing the superintendent of the college hostel.

Maharani Kasiswari College shares its building with Maharaja Srischandra College.