Less than 24 hours after Calcutta University (CU) vicechancellor (V-C) Suranjan Das said that it would not be possible for his to run the institution if no action was taken against the band of Trinamool activists who entered the campus and beat up teachers, the government sent him packing to another education hotspot — Jadavpur University, which has seen unprecedented chaos in recent times.
On Saturday, higher education minister Partha Chatterjee asked Suranjan Das to join JU forthwith. And, although there was no official announcement, news was out that the interim V-C of Calcutta University would be economist Sugato Marjit. Sources claimed that Marjit’s name was deliberately floated by the lobby that wanted Suranjan Das out of CU.
Sources said that the state government had sounded out Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi on this. Marjit could not be contacted as he is travelling abroad.
Of course, minister Partha Chatterjee insisted that there was nothing unusual about Suranjan Das’s transfer. “We’ve been waiting since May for Das to join JU. He, too, had requested us for an early release. He was supposed to join JU from July 2. We want him to join as soon as possible,” Chatterjee told Hindustan Times.
On Saturday, Das refused to comment on his new assignment. But a day earlier, he had told reporters that he had not made up his mind on whether or not to join Jadavpur. This was soon after the CU V-C met the education minister. “I’ve sought action against the culprits. I’ve told the government that it won’t be possible for me to run the institution if action isn’t taken against the miscreants,” Das had told journalists on Friday.Sources told Hindustan Times that the government did not take kindly to Das’s remarks and a decision was taken to move him out.