A month after rescuing Babul Supriyo, Bengal guv to chair JU court meeting
West Bengal governor Jagdeep Dhankhar will go to Jadavpur University to chair a meeting on Friday, a month after he rushed to the campus to rescue Union minister Babul Supriyo who was ‘detained’ and heckled by a group of agitating students.
The meeting of the JU’s court is scheduled to start at 11am, said registrar Snehamanju Basu. The governor is the ex-officio chancellor of the university.
The court is supposed to discuss a list of probable recipients of honorary DLitt and DSc degrees approved by the university’s executive council on September 30.
None in the university could recall when was the last time when a chancellor had chaired the meeting of the court.
University official said the executive council had recommended the names of Bengali poet Sankha Ghosh and former foreign secretary Salman Haider for a DLitt degree. Scientist CNR Rao and director of the Indian Statistical Institute in Kolkata Sanghamitra Banerjee were recommended for DSc degree.
According to the JU statute, a committee of the vice-chancellor, two pro-vice chancellors, registrar and deans of faculties prepares a list of probable recipients.
The list is submitted to the executive council for endorsement and once it gives the green light, the names are placed before the court for approval.
While the governor’s decision to attend the meeting has already triggered apprehensions of another round of controversy, Partha Pratim Ray, general secretary of the Left-leaning Jadavpur University Teachers’ Association, has issued an appeal to teachers and urged for peace in the campus.
“We request all the members to be vigilant to maintain a peaceful environment within the campus,” Ray said in a statement.
The court meeting comes against the backdrop of a few high-profile run-ins of the governor and the state’s ruling Trinamool Congress party since July 30, when he was sworn in.
On September 19, in an incident that grabbed headlines, Dhankhar had rushed to the JU campus after Babul Supriyo was ‘detained’ in a televised agitation by the students – mostly Left supporters – who allegedly abused and heckled him.
Before going to the campus, Dhankhar alleged inertia on the part of JU officials, who refused to call the police inside the campus. He said that he spoke to chief minister Mamata Banerjee, who was away in Delhi, and also to the chief secretary who did not take necessary steps to rescue the minister.
Ruling Trinamool Congress leaders had slammed the governor’s move and accused him of a partisan approach.
The governor has since then criticised the state government on a few occasions such as the triple murder case in Jiaganj, absence of government officials in a meeting called by him in Siliguri and ‘blacking him out’ during a Durga Puja event in Kolkata.
Personnel of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) are supposed to join the security team of the governor in a decision that has also invited criticism from Trinamool leaders.
Bharatiya Janata Party leaders have supported the decision.
The party’s state unit president Dilip Ghosh has said the JU incident in September, when agitating students banged the governor’s car and blocked his way for almost an hour in the campus, has already proven that his security needs to be stepped up.