Two former officiating vice-chancellors have “verbally” informed the state education department that they had not resigned as claimed by the governor but were removed from the post by C.V. Ananda Bose, said an official of the department.
The governor is the ex-officio chancellor of state-aided universities.
This comes a day after two other former officiating vice-chancellors said they had resigned for academic and personal reasons.
A response has not arrived from the fifth vice-chancellor on the list of five who, the governor said, had resigned “out of fear” in the face of “intimidation” by officials of the state education department.
The state had told the five that they should respond the September 11.
Since JU professor Amitava Datta did not respond to the query the department has communicated to him that it is being “construed” that he did not face any intimidation as claimed by the chancellor.
The two officiating vice-chancellors who said they had not resigned but had been replaced by the governor in his capacity as chancellor are Indranil Mukherjee of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad University of Technology (MAKAUT) and Sanchari Roy Mukherjee of North Bengal University.
In a video message on September 7, governor Bose said it was regrettable that five VCs he handpicked had to “resign”.
“The education ministry was intimidating them. Senior IAS officers were pressurising them. This is what the VCs told me in confidence before they resigned. I did not ask anyone to resign. They resigned out of fear,” he said.
Following the governor’s allegation, the education department had asked the five to inform in confidentiality who the threats came from so the officials could be taken to task,
Two written responses had come until Tuesday.
On Wednesday, a senior official of the education department spoke about two more responses.
“Indranil Mukherjee and Sanchari Roy Mukherjee did not respond in writing because they had been removed by the chancellor without any notice. So they did not get any scope to resign. That’s what they have verbally informed the department. We don’t know how the chancellor made this claim that they had been threatened by the department,” the official said.
Calls, a text message and an email from this newspaper to the chancellor failed to elicit a response.
Sanchari Roy Mukherjee declined comment.
Calls and text messages to Indranil Mukherjee went unanswered.
On June 13, Indranil Mukherjee told Metro he had learnt from the registrar of his university that he was no longer the vice-chancellor. “I had no clue until then,” he said.
Mukherjee, a teacher at Maulana Abul Kalam Azad University of Technology (MAKAUT), had been told to perform the duties of a vice-chancellor on April 26. All private technology institutions and government engineering colleges in the state are affiliated to MAKAUT.
Sanchari Mukherjee, also a professor at NBU, lost her position as officiating vice-chancellor on July 18.
Bose picked Rathin Bandopadhyay, a teacher of the same university’s law department, to replace Sanchari Mukherjee, whom he had handpicked for the post on May 21.
On the evening of September 7, the education department wrote to the five asking them “to provide necessary details of any such alleged threats/intimidation faced” by September 11.
Emailed communication with the identical text had been sent to Indranil Mukherjee and Gautam Majumder, who resigned from MAKAUT in quick succession; Chandan Basu, who resigned from Netaji Subhas Open University; Sanchari Roy Mukherjee; and Amitava Datta, who resigned from Jadavpur University.
Sources close to the two said they “are embarrassed” following the chancellor’s claims because it was Bose who had them replaced.
The fifth vice-chancellor is Amitava Datta who was reportedly asked by the chancellor on August 4 to step down following a complaint by some JU teachers.
This newspaper reported on Wednesday two officiating vice-chancellors — Chandan Basu and Gautam Majumdar — have informed the department in writing that they quit because of their teaching commitment and personal reasons.
Metro has seen copies of the letters they sent to the department.