STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE
Kolkata, 3 September
Governor MK Narayanan’s prescription to stop the ongoing students’ rampage landed him in trouble today, as the Association for Protection of Democratic Rights (APDR) submitted a memorandum to the West Bengal Human Rights Commission (WBHRC) against his comments.
Reacting to recent incidents of college principals and invigilators being attacked by students, the Governor who is also the Chancellor of all state universities had said: “No one has the right to beat up teachers. Whoever beats up teachers, should also be beaten up.”
APDR has sought a public apology from the Governor. The memorandum addressed to the chairman of West Bengal Human Rights Commission and written by Ranjit Sur, secretary of APDR’s BBD Bag unit, reads: “Such remarks especially from his seat of the state’s constitutional head is utmost objectionable. This would further degrade the deteriorating condition of human rights in the state.”
In the memorandum, APDR has expressed stern objection to Governor’s comment and demanded an apology.
“We appeal to you to take steps in ensuring that the Governor withdraws his remarks and begs pardon from the people of the state for making comments that provoke violation of human rights. If that does not happen, we expect you to take appropriate steps that you deem fit and set an example,” the memorandum goes on to add.
The Governor’s comments, asking for students who hit their teachers to be beaten up in return sparked a controversy. While Panchayat minister Subrata Mukherjee spoke against such an “extreme” punishment, many academics too questioned whether this would allow police to beat up students.
On being told that his remark of beating up students has triggered a controversy, Mr Narayanan today said: “Let it be. I had made a strong remark. I can’t help it, if my remarks create a controversy.”
The complaint will be discussed by the full bench of the commission on this Friday, a source in the WBHRC confirmed.