Jadavpur University chief resigns after student protests

Jadavpur University students celebrating the resignation of Vice-Chancellor on 12 January 2014 Image copyright Ronny sen
Image caption The students have been holding protests since 11 September

The top official of Calcutta's Jadavpur University has resigned following a four-month boycott of classes by students sparked by a sexual assault.

Vice-Chancellor Abhijit Chakraborty had called in police in September to quell a protest on campus over the attack.

What began as anger over the assault in August snowballed into fury over what was seen as a disproportionate response by the authorities.

Students had said they would not return to class unless Mr Chakraborty quit.

They boycotted classes, held meetings and staged a referendum in which they voted against Mr Chakraborty.

Earlier this month, 15 students went on hunger strike demanding his resignation. At least three of them were admitted to hospital.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced the news of Mr Chakraborty's resignation to the students on Monday evening.

"I spoke to the vice-chancellor and he informed me that an unrest is going on and he doesn't want the academic atmosphere to get vitiated further. He wants peace and so he is resigning," Ms Banerjee said.

"I want a peaceful environment to prevail in the university. There must be a conducive environment for education. I was concerned about the future of the youth and students. No academic activity was happening for the past four months."

The female student was attacked on campus on 28 August. Two Jadavpur students have been held in connection with the incident.

Dozens of students were injured when Mr Chakraborty called in police in September. The students said they were peaceful and accused the authorities of brutality.

Mr Chakraborty had defended the police action, saying he had asked them to rescue him and other staff members after they were surrounded by students for several hours.

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