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    Jadavpur VC falls sick as students continue siege

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    Kolkata, Jan 10 (IANS) Jadavpur University students continued their siege of Vice Chancellor Suranjan Das and other top officials on Sunday to press their demand for students union elections even as he said he was not well.

    “I am a diabetic. For the past 48 hours, I have been sitting in my chamber. My blood pressure is fluctuating,” Das told IANS over phone. A doctor was called in to examine him earlier in the day.
    The students have been demonstrating and have held Das and other officisials virtually captive since Friday afternoon following an advisory by the West Bengal higher education department that the state-run university hold students union elections after the assembly polls.
    Das appealed to the students to sit across the table for discussions.
    “University authorities and the students council are not warring. We have conveyed their stand to the highest authorities. We appeal to students to participate in discussions,” the vice chancellor said.
    The vice chancellor, pro vice chancellor and registrar along with executive council members have spent two nights inside the administrative building Aurobindo Bhawan as protesting students demanded that Das notify the elections.
    The students have sought a tripartite meeting of executive council members, students’ representatives and Bengal Governor Keshri Nath Tripathi, who is also the university’s ex-officio chancellor.
    “The honourable chancellor is not in the city. We are awaiting his return. But I have no idea when he will be back,” said Das.
    The university executive council on Saturday held an emergency meeting and assured the students that they would inform Tripathi of a looming crisis if the union polls are not held by January 31 when the terms of all three student councils end.
    However, the students remained adamant.
    “The university is an autonomous institution. It should have asserted its autonomy and held the elections. Neither the VC nor the chancellor has made it clear or explained why they failed to hold the elections,” said a student leader.
    “We demand the chancellor’s intervention. The election circular must be issued before January 31. We want the chancellor to talk to us on Monday (January 11). We have also asked for a tripartite meeting. The university authorities are yet to respond with concrete proposals,” he added.

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