A section of Visva Bharati University students has gheraoed the residence of Vice-Chancellor Bidyut Chakraborty after a night of sit-in in front of his central office compound of the institute in Birbhum district late on Friday night against the recent expulsion of three fellow students.
The students have demanded that the rustication order of three students be rescinded otherwise the agitation will continue.
Somnath Sow, Falguni Pan and Rupa Chakraborty were expelled for three years on Monday night for disrupting the academic atmosphere in the university compound by assembling at Chhatimtala on January 9 this year and being involved in disorderly conduct in the name of protest.
The varsity has claimed that action was taken against the students after an inquiry found them guilty. The protestors alleged that Sow, Pan and Chakraborty have been expelled without being given a chance to defend themselves.
The three students were accused of breaking open the lock of the room that belonged to an Economics Professor at the University.
Sow, who is the spokesperson of the SFI Visva-Bharati unit, said the protestors have kept vigil outside the official residence of Vice-Chancellor Bidyut Chakraborty and won’t allow him to move out till the suspension order was revoked.
“We will be here all night," he told reporters.
Sow had earlier alleged that he and the other two were targeted for protesting the Citizenship Amendment Act and National Register of Citizens in the university, besides against “anti-student" decisions like the eviction of a student from the hostel on the charge of circulating a purported video of the VC during the Republic Day function in 2020.
A university official said the students suddenly started the sit-in at around 10 pm on Friday in the central office area and the personal secretary of the vice-chancellor was among the officials stuck inside.
The university has seen multiple controversies since Chakraborty taking over as the VC. The Trinamool Congress has accused him of being a “man from the saffron camp”.
The Left and the TMC have maintained unity in their opposition to the VC.
Meanwhile, Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh said, “Visva Bharati should not be the place for politics. This is defaming the heritage of Shantiniketan. Hooliganism should not be tolerated there.”
(With inputs from PTI)