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Regular-article-logo Monday, 24 June 2024

Member of university inquiry panel quits

Dulal Chandra Ghosh was the nominee of Narendra Modi, the chancellor

Snehamoy Chakraborty Santiniketan Published 05.02.20, 09:24 PM
Visva-Bharati has been on the boil since January 8 after Rajya Sabha MP Dasgupta was gheraoed by a section of students while he was delivering a speech on the BJP’s citizenship thrusts

Visva-Bharati has been on the boil since January 8 after Rajya Sabha MP Dasgupta was gheraoed by a section of students while he was delivering a speech on the BJP’s citizenship thrusts (Wikipedia)

One of the three members on a committee formed by Visva-Bharati to look into alleged confinement of MP Swapan Dasgupta during his lecture on the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and an attack on students at a varsity hostel stepped down on Wednesday citing “allegation of bias” against him.

Dulal Chandra Ghosh, who quit the committee, is the nominee of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the chancellor of the central varsity, at the executive council.

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The officiating-registrar of Visva-Bharati, Asha Mukherjee, issued a notification on Wednesday on Ghosh’s decision to step down.

“Professor Dulal (Chandra) Ghosh, member of inquiry committee, recused himself from the committee because of the allegation against him, in the interest of fair and just inquiry on the episodes held on 8th and 15th January, 2020,” read the notification.

According to the notification, the committee would continue its work with the remaining two members.

Visva-Bharati has been on the boil since January 8 after Rajya Sabha MP Dasgupta was gheraoed by a section of students while he was delivering a speech on the BJP’s citizenship thrusts.

The agitators accused the varsity of trying to promote saffron propaganda on Rabindranath Tagore’s campus.

On January 15, a group of students – believed to have been part of those who gheraoed Dasgupta -- were attacked in a varsity hostel and later in a hospital. Two days later, the varsity authorities constituted the committee, headed by (former) Chief Justice Bhattacharya.

A section of students and teachers raised questions on keeping Ghosh and Mukherjee in the committee, pointing out that they were part of a group of academics who were signatories to an open letter in support of the BJP’s citizenship matrix. The students also circulated an audio-visual interview given by Ghosh, in which he allegedly backed the RSS’s student arm ABVP.

When contacted, Ghosh said: “A section of students and teachers started campaigning that I am biased, as they cited an interview to a television channel and my signature in a letter in support of the CAA.”

“I don’t want any controversy and also want a fair probe. I stepped down from the committee for the interest of the university,” he added. A section of students and teachers said the entire committee should be reconstituted.

“It is mandatory to reconstitute the entire committee as one of its members has stepped down. He stepped down on the basis of our allegation,” said Somnath Sow, an SFI leader at Visva-Bharati.

“If a member of any such committee resigns, the panel should be wholly reconstituted,” added Sow.

A teacher at the varsity said he would write to the committee about the demand for the reconstitution. “The committee should be reconstituted as it has lost its nature of the original order,” he said.

The remaining members on the panel are former Chief Justice of Calcutta High Court Justice Jyotirmay Bhattacharya and Manju Mohan Mukherjee, a nominee of the vice-chancellor to the varsity’s executive council.

Visva-Bharati has been on the boil since January 8 after Rajya Sabha MP Dasgupta was gheraoed by a section of students while he was delivering a speech on the BJP’s citizenship thrusts.

The agitators accused the varsity of trying to promote saffron propaganda on Rabindranath Tagore’s campus.

On January 15, a group of students – believed to have been part of those who gheraoed Dasgupta -- were attacked in a varsity hostel and later in a hospital. Two days later, the varsity authorities constituted the committee, headed by (former) Chief Justice Bhattacharya.

A section of students and teachers raised questions on keeping Ghosh and Mukherjee in the committee, pointing out that they were part of a group of academics who were signatories to an open letter in support of the BJP’s citizenship matrix. The students also circulated an audio-visual interview given by Ghosh, in which he allegedly backed the RSS’s student arm ABVP.

When contacted, Ghosh said: “A section of students and teachers started campaigning that I am biased, as they cited an interview to a television channel and my signature in a letter in support of the CAA.”

“I don’t want any controversy and also want a fair probe. I stepped down from the committee for the interest of the university,” he added.

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