Visva Bharti Student Found Dead in Hostel, VC Calls for Police Protection as Protest on Campus Intensifies

On Thursday, a class 12 student of Visva Bharti‘s Patha Bhavan school, Ashim Das, a resident of Nanoor in Birbhum, was found hanging in his hostel room. Although Visva Bharti authorities called it a suicide, the victim’s family alleged murder and complained to the Santiniketan police station.

The victim’s family alleged charges of planned murder, criminal conspiracy, and destruction of evidence were brought against the varsity authorities. While family members protested in front of the VC’s residence and before the Santiniketan police station all day yesterday, a section of university students joined the bereaved family in their protest.

The police have arrested several people who were protesting. A section of students clashed with Visva Bharti University officials, who are considered to be close to Vice-Chancellor Bidyut Chakraborty on late Friday night.

The VC had sent an SOS to Governor Dhankhar stating his “life is at risk” and asked for police protection. The governor alerted DGP and the DM and SP of Birbhum and tweeted the matter. “WB Guv: VC Vishwa Bharati msg sent to CS for intervention “Kindly send security. My life is at risk. The agitators have broken the main gate and an untoward incident is likely to happen if you don’t send police protection for me. It is an SOS. Bidyut Chakrabarty” tweeted the governor.

A large contingent of police forces has been deployed at the VC’s house since last night even as a section of students continue to sit-in demonstration at the spot. The protestors demanded that the VC Chakraborty should come out of his home, address the family about the cause of death and clear the air which he refused.

The protest gathered momentum after the body was handed over to the family post autopsy on Friday evening. Protestors later reached the VC’s house once again in the evening with the body, broke open the front gate of the residence, and held agitation for some time before taking the body away for cremation. Some agitating students continued their protest before the VC’s house when, at late night, some followers of the VC came and clashed with the students.

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