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Retired judge to probe Jadavpur University scholar assault

The researchers were allegedly assaulted when the university was conducting ‘spot counselling’

Subhankar Chowdhury | Published 11.04.22, 11:05 AM
JU campus

JU campus

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Jadavpur University has said an inquiry committee will soon ask students to depose in connection with the alleged assault on two research scholars in December, following a sit-in by students in front of the vice-chancellor’s office since last Monday.

A pro vice-chancellor told the protesting students on Friday that a retired judge had been asked to investigate the complaint of assault and would soon ask students to depose before him.


A letter addressed to the protesting students by JU pro-VC Samantak Das says: “Copies of the letter written to Mr. Justice Pranab Chattopadhayay, retired judge of the Calcutta High Court, by our honourable vice-chancellor Suranjan Das, requesting him to enquire into the December 22 incident, are attached here…. In the last few days, Professor Suranjan Das has spoken with Justice Chattopadhyay, apprising him of your sit-in demonstration.”

“I am confident that Justice Chattopadhayay will formally ask you to depose before him at a very early date," the letter says.

The research scholars were allegedly assaulted when the university was conducting ‘spot counselling’ to fill first-year BTech seats in December.

A JU official said the two, both members of the Trinamul Congress Chhatra Parishad (TMCP), were allegedly assaulted after members of the students’ union of the engineering and technology faculty (Fetsu) accused them of being linked with two men who were apparently offering engineering seats in exchange of money.

“I had written to the university’s SC/ST cell on December 28 that upon arriving over there (a students’ union room near the counselling centre), a kangaroo court was set up and I was mentally and physically harassed by a section of Fetsu students. The letter from the pro VC suggests till date that no investigation has happened,” said Biswajit Das, one of the scholars who was allegedly assaulted.

Das, from the philosophy department, has been taking part in the sit-in along with other members of the TMCP unit over the past seven days.

The other scholar is from the international relations department.

Sanjib Pramanik, the TMCP unit president of the campus, has vowed to continue the sit-in because, he said, the letter from the pro VC only showed how the administration had failed to ensure justice.

“On the fifth day of our protest sit-in, we are being told that the retired justice will hold a deposition. Had we not protested, we wouldn't have even come to know this? Since this administration needs to be nudged into taking steps, we will continue our sit-in until justice is delivered,” said Pramanik.

A JU official said there was a delay in the probe and they were trying to fasttrack the investigation.

“One reason for the delay is that the university had to be shut for a month along with other campuses in January because of a renewed surge in Covid cases,” he said.

The students who have joined the sit-in are also demanding a probe into the allegation that its unit president was recently threatened with assault by an SFI leader in a video message.

The pro-VC has written to the protesting students that the accused SFI leader, Anushtup Chakravorty, admitted to his mistake and promised that such mistakes would not recur

Last updated on 11.04.22, 11:05 AM

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