Can’t work if teachers’ attackers go unpunished: Calcutta VC

Kolkata, July 3 (IANS) A day after making a volte face on the issue, Calcutta University vice-chancellor Suranjan Das on Friday said it would be untenable for him to continue if the West Bengal government did not take action in the assault on university teachers allegedly by members of the ruling Trinamool Congress’ students’ wing.

Das, who had denied Wednesday’s incident, on Thursday acknowledged that the assault did take place and termed it as unfortunate.

The vice-chancellor in his report to Education Minister Partha Chatterjee on Friday said that he has given details about Wednesday’s incident in which a section of university teaching and non-teaching staff, along with Das, were assaulted allegedly by Trinamool Congress’s Chhatra Parishad supporters.

“In my confidential report, I have given a detailed account of the entire incident, who were assaulted and by whom. I have specified in the report that if the government doesn’t take suitable action in the matter, then it would be difficult for me to continue,” said Das.

Das, however, refused to reveal identity of the attackers.

“In my confidential report, I have clearly mentioned who were attackers and who led the attack,” he said.

Minister Chatterjee on Wednesday claimed that “Das told me that he was not assaulted and no such incident occurred”.

Das, who was criticised for denying the incident, asserted he was not “silent” on the issue.

“If I am not saying anything, that doesn’t mean I am silent. I was there to save my colleagues when they were attacked. I tried my best to prevent the incident,” added Das.

The teaching fraternity along with eminent personalities on Thursday hit the streets, condemning Wednesday’s assault and also slammed Das for being “silent” and “denying the incident”.

Subsequent to the protests, Das on Thursday acknowledged the incident.

“Such an incident should not happen in an institution like Calcutta University. It was unfortunate and undesirable. As the head of the institution, I am deeply hurt by whatever happened,” Das said after submitting his report to Chatterjee.

Meanwhile, Trinamool’s Lok Sabha member Sugata Bose said he has met Chatterjee, expressing his concern and seeking suitable action.

“Wednesday’s incident is most unfortunate and a blot on the university. Such an incident should never recur. I have expressed my deep concerns to the education minister and he has assured necessary action will be taken in the matter,” said Bose, also a Harvard University professor.

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