Siliguri, Nov. 22: The North Bengal University vice-chancellor today accused employees of depriving him of his entitlement by influencing his driver to join a sit-in demonstration.
Arunabha Basumajumdar said he couldn’t attend office and travel outside the varsity campus in the past 13 days because of the driver’s absence from duty.
“My appointment letter entitles me to a free car and accommodation. These are my fundamental rights. But the employees have deprived me of my entitlements by advising my driver to participate in the demonstration since November 9. This has hindered my movement on the campus and outside for the past 13 days,” Basumajumdar told The Telegraph.
“I hold the post of NBU vice-chancellor. Do they expect me to come on foot to attend office or move around the campus in that manner?” he asked.
The VC’s bungalow is on the campus and is 500 metres from the administrative building where the employees have not joined the agitation.
The impasse began on November 9 when more than 300 Group C and Group D staff members under the banner of the NBU Employees’ Association started the dharna, demanding promotions and jobs for the next of kin of those who had died in harness.
Around 100 employees in emergency services like ward-and-watch unit that co-ordinates security and transport activities and hostel staff have been exempted from the agitation.
“At a meeting with the VC on November 11, he had agreed to consider our demands. He said the roster committee that looks after the recruitment would meet on November 16 and interview of candidates would be held on November 21. We decided to carry on with the agitation till all these processes take place,” said D.P. Boot, the secretary of the association.
He said as the roster committee members had not turned up, the November 16 meeting had to be called off. “The interview scheduled for yesterday was also cancelled. So, we have no option but to continue with the agitation.”
Boot said the association had relieved the driver of the agitation on the day of the roster committee meeting. “We are relieving him completely from today.”