In pictures: Mass protests at Jadavpur University

Students at Calcutta's Jadavpur University have been protesting for the past fortnight at the sexual assault of a female student. A government-appointed panel has begun an inquiry, but the students, upset over the universities' decision to call in police against the protesters last week, say that is not enough.

Photographer Ronny Sen went to find out why they are so angry.

Parnab Das

Image copyright Ronny Sen

What began as anger over last month's assault has snowballed into fury over the authorities' response. Protests have also spilled outside the university campus, and at the weekend up to 25,000 people marched through Calcutta's streets. Parnab Das is doing a masters course in comparative literature. "I am also teaching in a school and I plan to leave my job so that I can give my full time to this movement," he says.

Supratik Sur Roy

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Last Tuesday night, the situation came to a head when university vice-chancellor Abhijit Chakraborty called in police to quell a protest on the campus. Mr Chakraborty says he called in the police because he was under siege and had to be rescued. Dozens of students were injured and admitted to hospital. Supratik Sur Roy, a student of film studies, says it was "completely unacceptable" to send "commandos and police to beat up students who were protesting peacefully".

Upasana Chakraborty

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Ms Chakraborty, an undergraduate student of English, says she was present on the night and that police came inside the campus and beat up the students. She has alleged that her boyfriend was severely beaten up and suffered multiple injuries. The students are now demanding that the vice-chancellor resign and Ms Chakraborty says she will not give up protesting until he quits.

Prabuddha Ghosh

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Mr Ghosh, an MPhil student of comparative literature, says: "I am proud to be a part of this movement. I was not present on the night when police came, but I wish I was there with my friends who were beaten up." The poster behind him, with the war cry Halla bol (Raise your voice), aptly sums up the mood of the protesting students.

Sanmit Chaterjee

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"We are not only fighting against the vice-chancellor, we are addressing other issues as well. We are fighting against many things like moral policing on campus, which is being forcefully imposed on us", Sanmit Chaterjee says.

Rupsa Sarkar

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Ms Sarkar, a mass communication and journalism student, says: "I don't think our demand to the vice-chancellor for a proper investigation into the molestation was wrong. What was the reason to bring the police inside the campus? The students were peacefully protesting. We will fight against police brutality and until the vice-chancellor resigns."


Image copyright Ronny Sen

Devi is an ex-student who graduated in 2012. But the protests have seen many former students like her return to the university. Along with some other students, she has been painting and making posters which are being put up across the campus.

Prantick Das

Image copyright Ronny Sen

An ex-student of comparative literature and mass communication, Mr Das says he is here because he feels "very strongly" about the incident. "This could have happened to any one of us. Former students who are in different parts of the world are sending messages with their support and solidarity," he says.

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