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Bratya Basu

Bratya slams JU for lack of cameras disregarding Supreme Court directive

I cannot figure out why the university is unwilling to comply with SC guideline: Minister

Subhankar Chowdhury | Published 23.08.23, 06:01 AM
Bratya Basu

Bratya Basu

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Education minister Bratya Basu said on Tuesday it was not clear to him why the Jadavpur University authorities were unwilling to install CCTV cameras, disregarding a directive of the Supreme Court.

The minister said this at his chamber on the Assembly premises after responding to a question about the death of a first-year student of Jadavpur University amidst allegations of ragging.


“The Supreme Court guideline categorically speaks about the installation of CCTV cameras. I cannot figure out why the university authorities are not willing to comply with that,” the minister said.

The police officers investigating the death of the first-year student had asked for CCTV footage of the main hostel. The JU authorities could not provide any because there were no CCTV cameras on the premises.

The first-year student had allegedly been ragged and thrown from a second-floor balcony of JU Main Hostel on the night of August 9. He died hours later.

Last Friday, JU decided to install CCTV cameras at the gates of the hostels and the campus, in the first phase of the setting up of electronic surveillance.

The Supreme Court had in 2009 banned ragging, following which the UGC issued a series of directives to prevent such unlawful activities on campus.

In 2014, the UGC had called for the installation of CCTV cameras on campuses to prevent ragging.

The Telegraph reported on May 9, 2014, that the UGC had sent circulars to universities across the country to adopt anti-ragging measures, such as installation of CCTV cameras on campus. In Bengal, Presidency and JU were among the universities that received the circular.

The new officiating vice-chancellor of JU, Buddhadeb Sau, said on Monday CCTV cameras would be installed in the corridors of all departments.

Sau, who assumed the responsibility of helming JU on Sunday, made the statement after his first meeting with the heads of the departments.

Education minister Basu, replying to questions raised by the leader of the Opposition, Suvendu Adhikary, in the Assembly regarding the steps being taken to protect students, said the UGC norms are communicated to all the universities every year.

Whether and how they will be implemented depends on the authorities of the respective institutions, Basu said.

In the first half of the Assembly session, six BJP MLAs, led by Adhikari, placed an adjournment motion in the House in connection with the Jadavpur incident.

The motion condemned the state government for failing to prevent ragging at JU and said the death of the first-year student reflects the overall deterioration of law and order in the state.

After reading out the motion, Adhikari, the Nandigram MLA, raised a few questions.

He asked why the state has failed to implement the guidelines issued by the UGC.

The education minister said in response the incident happened at a time when there was no VC at Jadavpur University. He said the governor had appointed someone as vice-chancellor and removed him a few days later.

“The governor has appointed a new VC. The +report the university sent to the UGC, after the new VC took over, was found unsatisfactory. We are ready to publish the report of our fact-finding team if the UGC publishes its report. That will clarify what steps we have taken,” Basu said in the House.

Governor C.V. Ananda Bose, in his capacity as chancellor of JU, had on June 1 entrusted Amitabha Datta with the responsibility of performing the duty of VC.

But the governor reportedly asked Datta to resign on August 4 following complaints against him lodged by a few teachers, including Sau.

The governor appointed Sau as officiating VC on August 19.

JU had no VC the day the first-year student fell to his death.

Last updated on 23.08.23, 10:03 AM

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