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RBU teachers withdraw resignations over 'racist slurs'

Thursday - June 20, 2019 12:18 am , Category : EDUCATION
Kolkata, June 20 (IANS) More Rabindra Bharati University teachers submitted their resignations on the racist slur issue, but withdrew them following an assurance from West Bengal Education Minister Partha Chatterjee on Wednesday.
 
The teachers, however, demanded suspension of some union leaders during the probe into the allegations.
 
Four department heads and directors of three study centres had submitted their resignations to Vice Chancellor Sabyasachi Basu Ray Chaudhury on Monday over racist slurs targeted against them by Trinamool Congress students wing members. They also accused some leaders of the non-teaching staff union of insulting them repeatedly.
 
Alarmed over the developments, Education Minister Chatterjee visited the campus and assured immediate action. He suggested the Vice Chancellor conduct a meeting with the teachers on Wednesday. But the teachers skipped the meeting.
 
"After our meeting with the Education Minister, we politely requested our VC to give an official statement that our resignations have not been accepted, but we were not given any update about it," Teacher's Council Secretary Debabrata Das told IANS.
 
During the day, the tension escalated further as more teachers started putting in their papers.
 
"Two more department heads and directors of six study centres have submitted their resignation before the council. But after talking to the Education Minister, the teachers have withdrawn their resignations," Das said.
 
He said after Chatterjee's intervention, the VC gave an official statement that the resignations have not been accepted.
 
"We have demanded the suspension of student union leader Biswajit Dey and Sushanta Chakraborty (of non-teaching staff) for a fair probe into the charges of harassment on racial grounds and restoring a conducive academic atmosphere," he said.
 
If they aren't removed before the enquiry, the teachers will go for further protests, Das added.
 
However, leaders of the Trinamool Congress Chhatra Parishad termed the allegations as baseless and counter-charged that these were only a ruse on the part of the professors to fend off accusations that they did not take classes regularly.
 
Rabindra Bharati University was established in 1962 to mark the birth centenary of Nobel laureate poet Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941). Chatterjee said the government would not allow any incident which mars the reputation of the institution.
 

--IANS bnd/ssp/vd