Kolkata, Sep 22 :
The West Bengal government Monday announced a five-member panel headed by Calcutta University vice chancellor Suranjan Das to probe the alleged sexual harassment of a female student of Jadavpur University.
While the student’s father exuded confidence in the panel, the university students who have been agitating seeking an independent probe, expressed their displeasure.
“The panel has been asked to submit its report as early as possible, possibly within 72 hours (by Sep 25 morning),” Education Minister Partha Chatterjee said while announcing the panel.
The announcement comes a day after Chatterjee met the girl – a History (Hons) student who was allegedly dragged into the boys’ hostel and molested Aug 28.
The other members of the panel are indologist Nrisingha Prasad Bhaduri, School Service Commission chairman Subhiresh Bhattacharya, Bethune College principal Sangita Tripathi Mitra and the head of the department of mass communication and journalism in St. Xaviers’ College, Ananya Chakraborty.
The student’s father, who Monday met Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, expressed confidence in the panel and urged the university students to withdraw their agitation.
“The chief minister has assured me of justice and I have full faith in the panel. I also urge the students, who are like my children, to withdraw their agitation and help the return of normalcy in the university,” he said.
The student’s father, incidentally, had lent his voice to the agitating students demanding the removal of vice chancellor Abhijit Chakrabarty.
“I had asked for his removal because at that time he could not assure me that my daughter would get justice, but now I am hopeful,” he said.
Meanwhile, the university students who have been seeking an independent probe said unless a panel was constituted in accordance with the Supreme Court’s Vishakha case guidelines, they will not relent.
Many students were injured in a police crackdown Sep 17 when they were demonstrating against Chakrabarty. The crackdown led to students demanding Chakrabarty’s removal.
“From the very beginning, we have been demanding that the panel has to be independent with representation from students. And in accordance with the Vishakha guidelines, there has to be an ex-judge, a member from the rights panel. Unless these guidelines are met, we will not consider the panel to be independent,” said a protesting student.