JU report unsatisfactory, TMC govt can’t evade from its responsibility: Union Minister

Stating that the report sent by the Jadavpur University to the University Grants Commission (UGC) on the death of the first-year undergraduate student was ”not satisfactory”, Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Sunday said hit out at the West Bengal government, saying that it could not evade responsibility for the incident.

Pradhan, who was in Kolkata on Sunday, said the Centre has taken the student’s death allegedly following ragging and sexual harassment “seriously”, and he has asked the UGC to take the strictest action as per law in the case. “The UGC had sought a response from the university on what steps it has taken to implement its suggestions on tackling ragging on the campus. Jadavpur University has been the country’s prestigious institution, but the incident that has come to light is worrisome and unfortunate. The UGC has taken the matter seriously and so do we. The death of the student was unfortunate and it is a matter of concern for all of us… The report sent to the commission (by the UGC) is not satisfactory. In the wake of the incident, the UGC will increase surveillance,” Pradhan told mediapersons on the sidelines of an event where several leaders and workers of his party, the BJP, were present.

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“There is no place for ragging in educational institutions… We have to see whether the anti-ragging guidelines set by the UGC were in place at Jadavpur University or not?… Questions are being raised about whether an anti-ragging cell was there (at the university) and if so, what were its activities. If CCTVs were in place or not… why outsiders were allowed to stay in the hostel,” Pradhan asked, adding that he has asked the UGC “to take the strictest action as per law”.

Last week, the UGC had voiced dissatisfaction after getting the preliminary report from the JU on the student’s incident, labelling it “generic”. On Saturday, the JU authorities forwarded its clarifications to the UGC and sent a detailed report on the incident.
The BJP minister also slammed the TMC government and held it responsible for the JU incident. “It is the state government’s responsibility to ensure such things do not take place. You (the state) cannot run away from the responsibility by shouting slogans,” Pradhan said, adding the JU authorities and the state government “must take action against the perpetrators.”

Reacting to Pradhan’s remarks, senior TMC leader Aroop Biswas said the state administration does not act considering the political beliefs of anyone. “We take action as per law against any offender. Here too, the law will take its own course. The administration has already taken action. A fair and proper investigation is being done by the police,” he said.

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