7:43 pm - Tuesday November 3, 2015

Woman molested on campus: 35 Jadavpur University students arrested for protesting

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KOLKATA: In the latest development in the Jadavpur University molestation case, 35 students who were part of a protest outside the campus have been arrested by police. The students were demanding a fresh probe into the case where a woman student was dragged into a men’s hostel and molested. It is being widely reported that the students were lathicharged by the police and dragged. Moreover, women students who were part of the protest have also filed a molestation complaint against the police.

The gherao of the vice-chancellor and registrar of Jadavpur University by protesting students here was on at midnight on Tuesday even as the varsity’s students’ body demanded a fresh probe panel to be set up to investigate the matter of the alleged sexual harassment of a girl student on its campus.

The students’ union demanded a fresh probe panel and insisted that the gherao would not be lifted until some assurance was given in the matter.
Additional commissioner of police Debasish Roy along with a strong contingent of police rushed to the campus to control the situation but the impasse continued as the students could not be convinced till midnight to withdraw their agitation.

The vice-chancellor is learned to have slammed the gherao as “torture”. He said that the matter could be resolved through discussion.
Police said the students gheraoed VC Souvik Bhattacharya and registrar Pradip Ghosh to protest against the August 28 incident inside the campus at a boys’ hostel and the delay in the investigation of the same.
The state government has appealed to the students to lift the gherao while education minister Partho Chatterjee said, “This is undemocratic; they must lift the gherao and talk with the authorities.”

I feared for my life: VC

Jadavpur University vice-chancellor Abhijit Chakrabarti, who was rescued by the police after being held hostage by students, said he feared that he would have been killed had the police not come.

“I would have died at their hands had the police not come. They were attacking us and I fear we would have been killed,” Chakrabarti told reporters.

Recalling the harrowing time they had in the campus since Tuesday, he said that they had no other option but to call the police to rescue him, registrar Pradip Ghosh and other members of the executive council.

The VC said he saw the students hurling abuses at him and he felt sick after being not allowed to leave office after 4pm.

“We told them to let us go but they did not relent and so I was forced to call police. When the police took me out of the office, I saw students trying to attack me,” Chakrabarti said.

The students had gheraoed them demanding that two external members be included into the committee that is investigating the alleged molestation of a girl student.

The VC said the committee was formed as per the guidelines of the Supreme Court.

Students on the other hand alleged that the police manhandled them and even molested girl students who were protesting.

They said they will take out a protest march against the incident on Wednesday evening.

The VC and registrar were freed in the early hours of Wednesday by a strong contingent of police force which arrested 35 students.

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