The makeshift stage in front of Hardinge Building at Calcutta University. (Subhankar Chowdhury)
The Trinamul Chhatra Parishad-run union at Calcutta University (CU) allegedly played loud music on the campus on Tuesday in violation of rules, disturbing students writing a semester examination at Presidency University, around 60-70 metres away.
The Presidency authorities alleged on Wednesday that CU officials had not intervened despite requests to lower the volume. CU, however, denied the allegation.
“We were writing our physics second semester exam. But the loud music was troubling us,” said a first-year student, who wrote his exam on the first floor of Baker Building.
A geology honours student, who wrote his exam at Derozio Building, alleged that the speakers had been placed facing the Presidency campus. “There was no respite during the two hours we wrote the exam,” he added.
The Presidency students complained to the university authorities, prompting the acting vice-chancellor (VC), Shanta Dutta, to call up CU VC Suranjan Das and request him to intervene, sources said.
Presidency registrar Prabir Dasgupta, who too had called up his CU counterpart seeking intervention, alleged that the music continued.
“The students continued to suffer despite our requests,” Dasgupta said.
The CU vice-chancellor, however, said response to the complaint had been instant. “We asked the organisers to lower the volume at once and they did. I even asked the acting Presidency VC to give me a written complaint. She later thanked me for responding to her request,” Das said.
The CU authorities had granted permission for a programme in the Centenary Building auditorium but the union put up a stage in front of Hardinge Building, CU officials said.
Kunal Samanta, the general secretary of the Trinamul students’ union at CU, did not respond to several phone calls from the newspaper.
The Presidency authorities could have lodged a police complaint since the stretch from Calcutta Medical College Hospital to Presidency College and up to a radius of 100 metres was declared a silence zone in a gazette notification issued by the environment department on February12, 2008. Next year, the green department had issued another notification, asking the institutions to publicly notify the silence zone.
The police say no action can be taken without a complaint. In March last year, the Trinamul students’ wing had celebrated Holi on Calcutta University’s College Street campus using loudspeakers in violation of rules, allegedly ignoring repeated requests from the authorities to stop before relenting.