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Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar Shown Black Flags by Jadavpur University Students Protesting CAA, NRC

West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar was stuck for around 30 minutes amid the protests by CPI(M)-backed SFI, Arts Faculty Students Union (AFSU), AISA and FETSU. He was escorted to the venue of the meeting at Aurobindo Bhavan after the VC intervened.

PTI

Updated:December 23, 2019, 7:26 PM IST
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Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar Shown Black Flags by Jadavpur University Students Protesting CAA, NRC
File photo of West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar.

Kolkata: West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar was shown black flags on Monday by a section of students at the Jadavpur University where he went to attend a meeting as its chancellor. The students, protesting against the governor's stand on the proposed nationwide NRC and the Citizenship Amendment Act or CAA, surrounded his car and shouted slogans when he reached the main gate of the campus around 2 pm.

The governor was stuck for around 30 minutes amid the protests by CPI(M)-backed SFI, Arts Faculty Students Union (AFSU), AISA and FETSU. He was escorted to the venue of the meeting at Aurobindo Bhavan after Vice Chancellor Suranjan Das and other varsity officials intervened.

Dhankhar was at the campus to attend a meeting of the JU's court -- the highest decision-making body of the prestigious university.

However, he left the meeting midway around 4.10 pm. As the students blocked his way again, Dhankhar said he had a hunch that he will face protests but still decided to visit the campus to find a way out of the impasse over cancellation of the special convocation.

The varsity earlier cancelled the special convocation where Dhankhar was supposed to confer D.Litt and D.Sc to some eminent people. It was scheduled for December 24.

The JU authorities said it will instead hold a simple ceremony in which only students will be awarded degrees and certificates.

"I do not want your careers to be affected due to the situation. I came here to discuss with you and find a way out. I am not the governor who never listens to the students," he said as over 300 students gheraoed him at the stairs of Aurobindo Bhavan.

When the students questioned him on police action at Jamia Millia Islamia campus in Delhi, Dhankhar said, "I am the governor of West Bengal and I can answer queries about the state."

He asserted that he believes in autonomy of educational institutes and will never work in the behest of any political party.

Even as the protests continued with students raising "go back" slogans, Dhankhar told them to submit a representation at Raj Bhavan and he will be glad to sit and

discuss their issues. "If I have answer to your queries I would certainly give them," he added.

Later, in a series of tweets, Dhankhar said, "Was at Jadavpur University for two hours. Had interaction with agitated students on various issues and indicated that am keen to connect with them further at Raj Bhawan. The Jadavpur University Court meeting could not be held and instructed C to have iat Raj Bhawan this evening (sic)."

He alleged that the state administration was "not at all responsive" regarding his visit to the varsity. A Jadavpur University Teachers' Association (JUTA) spokesperson said the court meeting was still underway and likely to decide on going ahead with the convocation on Tuesday.

The Left students' unions said the governor was making "unwarranted interference into the autonomy of the institute". AFSU general secretary Debraj Debnath said, "The governor did not reply to any of our queries. He couldn't explain why he kept issuing pro NRC and CAA statements and asked protestors to withdraw their agitation. We will keep boycotting him whenever he comes to the campus."

"We don't consider him as chancellor," he said.

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