West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar was forced to turn back from Jadavpur University by protestors on Tuesday morning, a day after he was shown black flags at the institution and was called a “BJP activist”.
Dhankhar was scheduled to attend the university’s convocation ceremony. “[I] am surprised that in spite of my directive to VC [Vice Chancellor Suranjan Das] to go by rule book and abide by my direction as regards convocation, the same has been started,” he said in a tweet to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. “In utter helplessness as of now I am leaving the Jadavpur University campus. Those concerned must soul search.”
On Tuesday afternoon, Dhankar said that he had appealed to the protestors who had blocked his entry. “At the campus of the Jadavpur University I appealed all concerned to ensure that a handful of people cannot be allowed to hold system to hostage,” he tweeted. “Appealed to the good sense of those who in the Government and University ought to be active to contain the situation.”
The governor, who has repeatedly aired his differences with the Trinamool Congress government in public, said the protests were “politically motivated orchestration of obstruction” and claimed there was no doubt that rule of law was severely compromised in the state. “VC has informed the ADC [additional chief secretary] that he is unable to have any way forward with those engaged in obstruction and all this without taking any initiative of dialogue with those engaged in obstruction,” he added in another tweet.
The protestors blocked the governor’s car near the university’s Gate 5 around 10.30 am. Members of the Trinamool Congress Employees’ Union waved black flags, and asked Dhankhar to “go back”, PTI reported. Some held up placards that read “No NRC, no CAA”.
However, Arts Faculty Students’ Union General Secretary Debraj Debnath said the students did not block the governor’s entry into the campus. “We only showed placards and raised slogans against NRC and CAA,” he added.
On Monday, Dhankhar – the university’s chancellor – had arrived at the campus to attend a meeting of the university court, one of its decision-making bodies. However, he could not attend it because of demonstrations by students and non-teaching staff. Despite his request, the court refused to shift the meeting to Raj Bhavan, according to PTI.