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Wednesday, September 8, 2021

11 faculty suspended, students rusticated, battlelines drawn on Visva-Bharati campus

11 faculty suspended, students rusticated, battlelines drawn on Visva-Bharati campus


TCSN Desk✍️

Kolkata 09 sep

Over the last fortnight, the Visva-Bharati University was again rocked by protests this time, over the rustication of three students on August 23. While the Calcutta High Court on Wednesday allowed them to rejoin classes, paving the way for return of normalcy, there have been frequent protests by both teachers and students since Vice-Chancellor Bidyut Chakraborty took charge in October 2018.

Faculty members point to the unusually high number of suspensions. Since November 2019, a 22 staff members 11 faculty members, 11 non-teaching employees have been suspended and over 150 showcause notices have been issued.


Some of the suspended faculty members said they faced action for various reasons including writing to Prime Minister Narendra Modi against alleged irregularities at the central university. Others alleged that they were suspended on trumped-up charges including negligence of duty and financial irregularities. Five have challenged their suspensions in court.


“The university suspended me for making derogatory remarks against a female colleague, which is a baseless allegation, and for circulating a complaint. Some of us had written a mail to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is the Chancellor of Visva-Bharati, President Ram Nath Kovind and West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar against the V-C. These are not offences which can be grounds for suspension,” said Sudipta Bhattacharya, president of the Visva-Bharati University Faculty Association (VBUFA) who is among those suspended.


The suspension order, seen by The Indian Express, cites “misconduct by mass circulating a complaint and derogatory/ defamatory/ baseless remarks against a fellow employee and also forwarding copies of the same to high dignitaries by email.”