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Dhankhar finds Calcutta University VC away, office locked


Kolkata: West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar on Wednesday made a pre-announced visit to the Calcutta University but found Vice Chancellor Sonali Chakravarty Bondhopadhyay not available, her room locked and other senior functionaries missing.

The Governor then proceeded to the library where too the librarian and others were missing, according to a Raj Bhavan statement.

Later, BJP national executive member Mukul Roy accused the Vice Chancellor of "behaving like a member of a political party".

"Dhankarji is not only the Governor, but also the Chancellor of Calcutta University. He went there pre-announced. This is a constitutional breakdown. Full responsibility lies with the sate government," said Roy.

The university had earlier requested Dhankhar to preside over the meeting of its Senate on Wednesday, but on Tuesday wrote to him that due to "unavoidable reasons", the meeting would not take place.

"Given the situation that the Hon'ble Governor had earmarked time for this meeting, he told the VC that he would be making a visit" to the university to interact with the faculty, employees and students and also go to the library to familiarise himself with the institution.

"The Office of the Vice Chancellor was also contacted and intimated accordingly," the statement said.

When Dhankhar went to the university at the scheduled time of 2 p.m., he was "warmly received by the students and employees".

But as Dhankhar made his way to the VC's Office, he was "not received by anyone" and the office was locked "and no one had any idea about the keys".

"The VC was not available on the campus as also other senior functionaries in spite of the intimation... Dhankhar visited the library where also the librarian and others were missing, but contract staff was available," the statement said.

The Governor later spoke to the media and lamented that such incidents were indicative of governmental remote control over the universities which was not good for the institutions' health.

Dhankhar said that he would continue to strive to secure a healthy educational environment and find out from the VC "as to what her version is regarding the state of affairs at the campus".



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