The industrial town of Asansol witnessed the raw brutality of student’s agitation when the principal of a college in Asansol was virtually pushed and not allowed to enter his office within the college campus.
Trinamool Congress Chhatra Parishad (TMCP) members allegedly dragged the principal of the government-run Asansol Polytechnic College out of his chamber and locked the institution on Thursday, protesting the failure by the college to issue pass certificates for the past two years.
Over 600 TMCP members and students of the college shouted slogans outside Principal Saibal Aich’s chamber from 10 am and demanded his immediate resignation.
The protesters said that Aich told them that the technical education department had not issued the certificates since 2011. Technical education minister Ujjwal Biswas said that there had been “some miscommunication” between his department and the college.
Many of the protesters complained that they are not being able to apply for jobs in spite of passing in 2011 because they were not issued any pass certificate. The protesters alleged that noneof the 600 students who had passed out of Asansol Polytechnic College since 2011 had got their pass certificates.
When Aich told them that the technical education department had not issued the certificates and he is helpless, the agitating students demanded his resignation.
Former TMCP general secretary and a final year Metallurgy student of the college said: “If as principal he can do nothing to solve our problems, he has no right to occupy the chair. We will not allow him to continue as principal. We demand the appointment of a new head.”
Keot, the former TMCP secretary, who was leading the agitation, alleged that Aich was intentionally holding back the certificate to malign the Trinamool-run government.
Till late in the evening, the protesters kept the college locked. The principal, who refused to speak to the media go into his car and went home. No classes were held today and the 50-odd teachers and non-teaching staff members fled after the agitation started.
The TMCP threatened to sit on an indefinite hunger strike from tomorrow.
Burdwan TMCP president, Ashok Rudra alleged that the students were suffering because of the callousness and inefficiency of the principal.
Technical education minister, Biswas said he was aware of the situation and had asked the technical education director to solve the problem immediately.
However, TMCP chief Shankudev Panda denied charges of dragging principal out of the college and went on to say that any agitation and protests hurting the sense of respect for teachers and principal will not be tolerated.
One section of the teachers said that TMCP is doing this kind of protest movements just to show the new students who have taken admission in the first year, their power. It is the duty and responsibility of the technical education department to issue pass certificates to the successful students and how can a college principal be held responsible for non-issuance of such pass certificates?” questioned one of the teachers.