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KU VC Hangloo Humiliated, Resigned

2015-10-01 22:30

Kalyani University vice chancellor professor Rattanlal Hangloo showing his resignation letter at a media conference on Thursday. Picture by SOVON CHAUDHURI

Kalyani, Oct. 1: Vice chancellor of Kalyani University professor Rattanlal Hangloo has resigned from his post on Thursday morning being “humiliated” due to renewed agitation of students at the campus mobilized repeatedly by “outside” forces. He announced his decision in a hurried called press conference early on Thursday morning after he was kept gheraoed for about 21 hours along with 20 other officials by a section of post graduate students who were demanding an exemption in the admission fee of second semester.

Hangloo did not categorically identify the ‘outside’ influence either in his resignation or in his statement to the media. However, most of the officials who were seized with him have claimed that a section of local Trinamul Congress leadership in connivance with some university employees, who were recently punished for corruption charges, have been deliberately inciting the students against the vice chancellor who has taken up a clean up drive against corruption since joining the varsity during November 2013.

On Thursday morning Hangloo faxed his resignation to Governor Kesharinath Tripathy who was in Tripura after the students refused a talk on their demand and instead demanded him to step down.

In his resignation letter professor Hangloo requested the Governor to relieve him of his responsibility as he is “being victimized … and wants to go back to maintain integrity and discipline”.

Professor Hangloo said: “I have had enough of embarrassment and told the Chancellor that I wished to be relived. I have also told Partha Chatterjee and the Principal Secretary about my decision”.

However, Governor refused his resignation and asked him to continue with his responsibilities. Sources claimed that late in the evening Hangloo has withdrawn his resignation on request of Governor Kesharinath Tripathy.

Education minister Partha Chatterjee blamed Hangloo for the ‘situation’, but expressed his unhappiness about his decision of ‘resignation’.

Chatterjee said: “The decision of fee hike is quite repressive. He took his decision to hike the fee about 400 per cent without considering the ground realities. Such decision would definitely invite problems at the campus”.

Students demonstrating locking the main entrance of the Kalyani University campus on Thursday Picture by SOVON CHAUDHURIHangloo said: “This is for the first time in last 12 years the fee has been hiked for sake of development of university’s infrastructure and education standard as well as to build up a students’ aid fund to help poor and needy students”

Meanwhile, expressing a unique gesture of support and solidarity to professor Hangloo, around 40 professors of KalyaniUniversity who were holding additional administrative responsibilities, have also submitted their resignation.

After announcing his resignation, the officials escorted him out of his chamber amidst the agitating students. The students chased his car, but failed. The angry students immediately locked the University’s main entrance and created ruckus inside the campus, forcing to suspend classes and prohibiting officials to enter campus.

Insiders in the University administration have alleged suspected role of a former senior officer behind the renewed agitation who has recently been demoted after he was found guilty of corruption. The officer in connivance with an influential leader of Kalyani town Trinamul Congress, who has blessings of district’s top leadership, had allegedly incited the students about the Wednesday’s agitation.

“The presence of a number of youth, who are not students of the varsity, were found demonstrating throughout the night at the campus”, said an officer.  

Close aides of Kalyani town Trinamul Congress president Arup Mukherjee were seen raising slogans against the vice chancellor and demanding his resignation on last night.

Professor Hangloo said: “I have been getting information from different sources for couple of days that some people interested about University affairs want to demonstrate through the students.  They want to press for this demand and that demand and I now I have realized that how this demonstration has taken place. I have found whenever the University is going for a development, in every two or three months this section of people mobilizes agitation with the help of many outside influences”.

University development officer and the chairman of fee structure review committee professor Alok Ghosh said: “There has been definite indication of outside influence that incited the students and embarrass the vice chancellor. But we are determined to resist it in any way”.

Nadia Trinamul district president Gourisankar Dutta, however, refuted any involvement of party activists in University matters.

“The party does not endorse such agitation at all. As far as I know none of our activists in Kalyani has any role in ongoing agitation. We fully support any positive steps by the university to disperse such unlawful agitation by a section of student”, Dutta said.

Hangloo said: “Such interference in the campus has become a regular affair. On September 17 and 18, few mess workers organized a ruckus while we were busy in a seminar. As usual people from outside came on the day and created ruckus. This happened again on Wednesday”.

On Wednesday around 300 students including outsiders blocked entry and exit point at the vice chancellor’s office demanding an exemption of admission fee to the second semester.

Hangloo said: “The demand of the students was not justified. The university raised the fees for sake of development. Nevertheless, I offered a discussion with them. My senior requested them for a talk. But they refused. I also constituted a committee to review the fee structure, but wanted me to come out in front of them and announce an exemption, which I did not agree”.

Financial Officer of the university said: “As per the present fee structure a science faculty post graduate students has to pay Rupees 3540 for each semester of six months, which the students want, Rupees 3700 for the entire two years PG course consisting of four semesters. The students while taking admission paid Rupees 7900 as first installment. They have to now pay the balance amount of Rupees 5760, which they now want to be exempted”

‘They simply want the 12 years old fee structure to be brought back, which is quite absurd”, the VC said.

A student said: “We have checked the fee structure of other universities, which are quite lesser than ours. We told the university as most of the students belong to poor rural families, the fee structure should be humane enough. But, the VC did not bother to listen to our demand. He has been speaking about development, but developed occurred only at the administrative building”.

Hangloo said: “There has been a spate of development in the University since I joined”

“The students are telling wrong. They should think about the facilities now provided to them. We have spent money in upgrading the class rooms, laboratories and even kitchen and dining facility in hostels.  Look at our e technology centre which is coming up, all computer labs and departments have been upgraded, more than 100 computers have been purchased, department have been given computers, every hostels and departments have been upgraded, cold and filter water facilities have been provided, library has been modernized, smart class rooms have been introduced, new courses have opened, new centre of studies have started.

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