Visva-Bharati vice-chancellor Bidyut Chakrabarty faces ‘unrest’ charge
A human rights activist on Saturday lodged a complaint with Santiniketan police, charging Visva-Bharati vice-chancellor Bidyut Chakrabarty and his associates “with creating social and economic unrest” by withholding salaries and pensions of around 4,000 present and past employees of the central varsity.
Secretary of the Bolpur unit of Association for Protection of Democratic Rights Sailen Mishra, said the decision to halt salary and pension was part of a “criminal conspiracy by varsity authorities” that affected employees, pensioners and local traders.
Visva-Bharati pays around Rs 23 crore a month towards salary, pension of employees and ex-employees and pay of contract/temporary staff. Though 10 days of July are gone, no one has received their dues of June. The varsity has also not told its employees and pensioners the reason for delay.
“Several people are facing hardships (without money). Salary and pension are basic rights and the present VC is trying to inconvenience employees in the midst of the pandemic. It is a criminal conspiracy and a move that affects democratic rights of employees and pensioners,” said Mishra, also an advocate. He urged the police to lodge criminal proceedings against Visva-Bharati officials including VC Chakrabarty, officiating registrar Ashok Mahato and accounts officer Sanjay Ghosh.
“We have started an inquiry,” said Nagendra Nath Tripathi, Birbhum police chief.
Sources said the VC convened a virtual meeting with senior varsity officials on Friday evening where he said he would write to PM Narendra Modi, explaining the situation.
Officiating varsity PRO Anirban Sircar, who is authorised to speak to the media, did not respond to calls or WhatsApp text sent by this paper.