The Vice-Chancellor of Kolkata’s Jadavpur University, Suranjan Das, on Wednesday said that an institution could not be held responsible if certain “fringe elements” raised separatist slogans on campus, reported PTI. “If any fringe element raises any separatist slogan, how can the university as a whole be linked with that? It is a law and order issue to be addressed by the administration,” he told the news agency.

Das’s remark comes two days after Union Human Resources Development Minister Prakash Javadekar took a dig at Jawaharlal Nehru University and Jadavpur University for securing top spots on the India Rankings 2017 released by the National Institutional Ranking Framework. Javadekar claimed that the two universities featured on the list because of strong research output and not because of students shouting “pro-Afzal Guru” and “anti-India” slogans on campus.

While JNU bagged the second spot on the list of top universities in the country, JU finished a close fifth.

That JU students were not always involved in demonstrations was evident from the fact that the university had been ranked as high as 12th overall, Das said, adding, “While I believe everyone has the right to use democratic rights in a democratic country, I am of the view one should exercise such democratic rights within constitutional limits which have been clearly defined ... It is important in a democracy to ensure that I don’t interfere with another’s freedom while exercising my own right.”

On Sunday, students led by the Arts Faculty Students’ Union shouted slogans seeking azadi (freedom) for Kashmir and Manipur during a rally against the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s alleged attempts to “pollute” the atmosphere on the campus.