JU row: Dhankhar calls Trinamool’s claim ‘factually incorrect’

Kolkata, Sep 20 : The confrontation between West Bengal governor Jagdeep Dhankhar and the state government escalated on Friday, with Raj Bhavan describing the Trinamool Congress’s statement “factually incorrect” and “unfortunate” after the party’s secretary general Partha Chatterjee claimed that Dhankhar neither informed the government nor took it into confidence before visiting Jadavpur University (JU) to rescue detained Union Minister Babul Supriyo.

Justifying Dhankhar’s visit to the varsity on Thursday evening, the statement from Raj Bhavan spoke of the ‘issue of serious lapses by the university vice-chancellor including virtual abandonment of his obligations,’ and ‘apparent failure of the state police administration in attending to the situations appropriately and inadequate security arrangements for the Governor/Chancellor during his visit.’ The issues were ‘receiving his attention for way forward steps’.

The statement also claimed that all agencies were kept in the loop before the governor’s visit to the campus and said the governor ‘has expressed relief’ that his visit brought an end to the ‘unwholesome situation’.

“His visit was rendered imperative as Vice Chancellor (Suranjan Das) and the pro-Vice Chancellor (Pradip Ghosh) had left the University while Union Minister Babool Supriyo continued to be detained by the agitating students/persons there.

“In his capacity as Chancellor, being guardian of the students, he took the call so as to connect with the students in the interest of education and institution,” the statement added.

Before his visit to the University, the Governor/Chancellor ‘exhausted all possible avenues’ that could bring an end to the ‘unsavoury spectacle’ by flagging the issue to the state director general of police and the Chief Secretary.

The statement said the governor had also apprised Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee of the ‘grave situation’ and the ‘consequences it may entail’.

“There were many telephonic interactions between the two and due to the high regard that the Governor/Chancellor has for the Hon’ble CM, personally and for the Office the CM holds, he would not like to divulge the conversation between the two, except that he left for the place after sufficient time had elapsed and the situation did not show any change,” the statement said.

“In discharge of his duty both as Chancellor of the University and Governor of the State, he felt it necessary to visit the University and all agencies required to be kept in the loop were informed,” it added.

Referring to the press statement issued by Chatterjee later in the night, Raj Bhavan said: “It is unfortunate that the Secretary General of the All India Trinamool Congress, through a press release yesterday (Thursday), has stated that the Governor did not inform the Government and has not taken the State Govt into confidence before making a visit.

“Obviously he (Chatterjee) did not know of the developments that took place between the Governor and the DGP/CS as also the conversation with the Hon’ble Chief Minister. The stand in the release is factually incorrect,” Raj Bhavan said.

Iterating that as the university chancellor, the students’ well being would ever be uppermost in Dhankhar’s mind, Raj Bhavan said “The Governor is conscious of his oath of office whereby he undertakes to preserve, protect and defend the constitution and the law, and also to devote himself to the service and well being of the people of the State of West Bengal.”

“The Governor looks forward to interacting with the students and faculty of JU so that the University registers incremental rise and wholesome education environment,” the statement added.

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