SFI protest in Kolkata against the expulsion of Visva Bharati (VB) students Kolkata, Aug 25: Students Federation of India held protests outside the main campus of Presidency University in the city Wednesday to protest against the expulsion of three VB students, who were suspended since January this year. SFI Presidency unit spokesman Debnil Paul said around 40 of its student members organised a sit-in before the main gate of the institution at College Street and demanded immediate withdrawal of the VB students’ expulsion by vice-chancellor Bidyut Chakraborty.
The protestors carried placards blaming the VC for exhibiting ”fascist temperament’’ and expelling the three VB students without giving them a chance to defend themselves. SFI’s Kalyani University unit in a statement urged the students to boycott history textbooks by Chakraborty in solidarity with the three expelled.
The three VB students – 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.” They were suspended for two terms since the incident and were expelled on the basis of the report by the Enquiry Committee. Sow, who is the spokesman of the SFI Visva-Bharati unit, alleged that he and the other two were targeted for protesting against 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.
They were suspended also for speaking against the suspension of several faculty members by the university and against an alleged attack on left students by a right-wing group in the hostel in early 2020 during an anti-CAA movement. A Visva-Bharati official, however, said the students were given a chance to explain their conduct before the enquiry panel twice. But they did not offer any apology though they had used ”inappropriate words” against the VC and some other faculty members during the January 9 protest and also later on.
The SFI Birbhum unit has called a protest rally in Bolpur town against the suspension on Thursday. Meanwhile, Trinamool Congress Birbhum district president Anubrata Mondal threatened to gherao the VC’s local residence for an indefinite period if the decision was not revoked.
”We are with the students,” Mondal told reporters after meeting a group of SFI student members.