Teachers, students in assurance visit
Two separate teams of Visva-Bharati teachers and students on Saturday visited the house of the student who has been evicted from his hostel for recording a controversial Republic Day speech of the vice-chancellor.
The teams went to the home of the student in Bankura’s Patrasayar and assured him and his family that a large number of teachers and students would take care of his needs in Santiniketan.
The first-year history honours student of Visva-Bharati was ordered out of the Purba Pally Senior Boys’ Hostel after the authorities identified him through CCTV camera footage. The boy, whose identity The Telegraph is withholding, had shot on his mobile phone the speech of vice-chancellor Bidyut Chakrabarty.
The VC’s reference to amending the Constitution sparked off a controversy in the backdrop of nationwide protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act.
“Three senior teachers and four students visited my home (separately). They assured me and my parents that they would extend all support to me to continue with my studies even if I am not taken back in the hostel. I am feeling a bit relieved,” he said.
“I will attend classes from Monday. I belong to a Scheduled Caste family and my parents are not well-off. I want to study at the university but if there is any further problem then I would have to leave Visva-Bharati,” the student added.
Sources said three members of the Visva-Bharati University Faculty Association (VBUFA) — Sudipta Bhattacharyya (economics), Bikash Gupta (physics) and Sujay Mondal (philosophy) — reached the home of the evicted student in Bankura around 2.30pm and spent around two hours there.
“Our three representatives who visited the home of the student told us that the family lives in a mud house with a tin roof. His parents are traumatised and hope that their son’s career will not be affected. The teachers have assured them that they will take care of their son. We are here to help him in every way,” said an executive member of the VBUFA on condition of anonymity.
After the teachers left, a team of four students — Somnath Sow, Falguni Pan, Ushosi Chatterjee, all of the economics department, and Angshuk Mukherjee, who studies Russian — met the evicted student and his family. They spent around an hour at the student’s home.
“We spoke with the student, who is yet to come out of the trauma. He believes that he did not commit any wrong in recording the VC’s speech. We have assured him that we will fight against the university’s decision and try our level best to get him back to the hostel,” said Sow.