The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Crisis check flops on campus
- JU students plan rally, alumni slam crackdown

The stand-off at Jadavpur University (JU) between the authorities and the faculty of engineering and technology students' union (Fetsu) continued on Wednesday, even as three separate committees worked overtime all day to find a solution.

Chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee contacted vice-chancellor Ashoke Nath Basu and inquired about the day's developments. Thereafter, Bhattacharjee said at Writers Buildings that 'efforts are on to bring the situation under control'.

Though rescheduled semester examinations in engineering and technology began as usual during the day, Fetsu members boycotted them as a mark of protest. Not a single student in the engineering and technology department wrote the test.

Students from the arts faculty and some from the science stream took their examinations wearing black badges as a mark of protest.

Agitating students from all the three faculties held a meeting during the day to organise a protest rally on Thursday afternoon. The students will first assemble in front of the university and then proceed in a procession towards Esplanade. Students from other institutions like Presidency College and Indian Statistical Institute will also participate.

The Jadavpur University Global Alumni Association, an organisation of former students settled abroad, brought a note of relief to the agitating students. The alumni association sent an e-mail to the vice-chancellor condemning the police crackdown on fasting students on the night of June 10 and charged the authorities with serious lapses in tackling the situation.

The e-mail sent from the US by Shyamal Ganguly, global alumni association president, was forwarded to the chief minister, the university's chancellor (Governor Gopal Krishna Gandhi), and different mediapersons. The body called upon the JU authorities to 'throw away garbage like the Amit Sen Committee report, on the basis of which the authorities had punished the five students'.

As advised by the chief minister, the university set up a five-member committee headed by Manoj Mitra, dean of the faculty of engineering and technology, to find out immediate measures to restore normality on the campus.

'We are keen to bring back normalcy. The five-member team began working from Wednesday after discussing the matter at length,' Rajat Banerjee, JU registrar said.

Another seven-member team that was set up by the Jadavpur University Teachers' Association on Tuesday to resolve the differences of opinion between the authorities and the Fetsu, too, held a series of meetings but failed to achieve anything, as the Fetsu refused to backtrack on its earlier stance. 'The suspension orders on five students have to be revoked,' Amit Chakraborty, Fetsu general secretary, demanded.

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