By Krati Gupta
Edited By Shambhavi Singh,Senior editor,The Indian Economist
“The rights of every man are diminished when the rights of one man are threatened.”
― John F. Kennedy
On August 28, a female JU student was molested in the college premises by 10 men. The incident was not reported until September. The students of the college thus protested and demanded an overhaul of the internal enquiry committee as they felt that the probe was unfair: some of the members were biased and harassed the victim to take her complaint back. Further, they complained that the workers of the ruling Trinamool Congress Party were exerting pressure on them to end the agitation.
The students resorted to peaceful protests for 4 days, but seeing that it has no effect, they later planned a gherao. What happened next in the dead of night on September 16, could not be easily forgotten. After 10 hours of gherao, the cops were called in. The vice chancellor Abhijit Chakraborty, considered it a task of below his ‘stature’ to talk to the students and listen to their objections. He even slammed the gherao as ‘torture’ and exclaimed that he would have been killed if the police didn’t intervene.
The police cracked the whip on the protesting students. They were thrown out of the college premise and beaten mercilessly. Displaying brutality in its top form, the female protestors were ill – treated. A video footage shows that there were no women police officers found there. The girls were slapped and punched just like the male students. They were groped and had clothes torn. They cried in utter disgust, but it later dawned upon them that the protectors of the society were in a different role today.
In the wee hours of September 17, the police arrested 35 students while the VC and the registrar were freed.
More fuel has been added to the fire as the incident has been increasingly politicized. The VC’s alleged closeness to the ruling TMC and controversial comments by one of its MPs and nephew of chief minister Mamta Banerjee, have further enraged the students. In a facebook post, the MP questioned whether the protest is due to banning of liquor and charas inside the campus.
The students have taken to Kolkata streets demanding the resignation of VC, pro VC and the registrar in the wake of violence meted to them on September 17. Tollywood celebrities, IT and BPO employees, common men and women, alumni and students from other educational institutions also poured from various part of the state to show their solidarity for the march.
The alleged lathi charge has outraged many across the country. The youth has taken to social networking sites to express their fury, using the hashtag #hokkolorob which means ”let there be uproar’’. Not only have the JU students boycotted their classes, those in the mass communication department boycotted their examinations until the demand for resignation of VC is met.
Although, there is an increasing fear of the movement being hacked by other political parties in the coming days to harness the growing anger against Trinamool Congress and CM Mamta Banerjee; but this has been something unprecedented. The youngsters coming out to fight for justice despite the police apathy, using the social media as an efficient tool to mobilise the entire movement , coining new slogans and giving sleepless nights to mighty political parties shows that they will no longer sit quiet and that they are well aware of what is happening around them .
The only way for the Mamta Banerjee government to save face is to launch an impartial probe in the matter. All those found guilty should be punished without any bias or prejudice. It should be understood that taking the common man for granted and giving special treatment to a chosen few, will only backfire in the long run.Krati is currently a Pre final year student pursuing chemical engineering from Motilal Nehru National Institute of Technology, Allahabad. She loves watching movies and posing for pictures. Apart from juggling between the concepts of thermodynamics and heat transfer during college hours, she is a greenhorn at writing and is highly optimistic about exploring the vast horizon in this field . She believes penning down her thoughts will make at least a small difference to the world.