Upon concluding his tenure as the Vice-Chancellor of Visva-Bharati University (VBU), Prof Bidyut Chakraborty found himself summoned to the police station on November 9, Thursday, in connection with six cases. One of these cases centred around a UNESCO plaque where the marble slab displayed the names of Chancellor Narendra Modi and Vice-Chancellor Professor Bidyut Chakraborty, notably excluding the name of the founder, Rabindranath Tagore.
“The plaques were unlawful and were intended to garner political advantages,” stated Prof Sudipta Bhattacharya, President of the VBU Faculty Association. He also added that, in an effort to avoid interrogation, Prof Chakraborty secured a ‘no coercion’ order from the Calcutta High Court, issued today, November 11. This order prevents the police from questioning him at the station and restricts interrogation to his residence for one hour.
It’s important to note that the former vice-chancellor, is now stripped of his previous authority and this has elicited reactions from various quarters. According to sources, the Shantiniketan Police station initially scheduled consecutive appearances for Prof Chakraborty starting today, November 10. However, due to the high court order, his presence at the police station is no longer mandated.
VBU employees also report that although the tenure of the former vice-chancellor has ended, he is yet to vacate his official residence in Shantiniketan. To recall, Prof Chakraborty’s time in office was marked by numerous conflicts with both staff and students, leading to a surge in suspension orders and legal cases, with VBU now entangled in over 100 legal disputes involving staff, employees, and students. Accusations against him include wielding his position and power for personal vendettas and attempting to saffronise the campus.
As a central university, VBU falls directly under the Central Government, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi serving as the Chancellor. Allegations persisted that Prof Chakraborty aimed to influence the campus in alignment with the Central Government’s agenda. Consequently, the news of the end of Chakraborty’s tenure brought relief to the people of Bolpur and VBU employees, who were observed celebrating the development.