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College union elections suspended in Bengal for six months

State says elections comes in way of examinations

Gulf News

Kolkata: The West Bengal government yesterday announced state-wide suspension of college union elections for six months in view of various board examinations and the upcoming local body elections.

Announcing the decision, state Education Minister Bratya Basu said the examination season starts with the Madrasa test followed by ICSC, ISC, CBSE and West Bengal Board Examination, besides various competitive entrance examinations.

“It would be difficult for the government to arrange for adequate security for examinations and college union elections simultaneously for want of adequate police force. The entire process of college elections would remain suspended for the next six months till further order, even if it had begun in some institutions,” the minister added.

The decision comes in the wake of the violence over college elections in the city, in which one policeman was shot dead. Speaking to Gulf News, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said, “The decision has been taken keeping in mind the interest of the students. If there is trouble at collage elections, then the whole area gets disturbed, like what we have seen in recent situations. It not only affects the students of the particular collage but the student fraternity as a whole.”

However, lawyers will approach the Calcutta High Court challenging this decision of the government and terming it as unconstitutional. “As per the constitution the collage body is elected for a year, after which elections are held. But by suspending elections, the government has violated the constitution. If it really wants to do this it has to amend the constitution on the basis of which these bodies are formed,” said lawyer Subrata Mukherjee.

Meanwhile, the Communist Party of India- Marxist has demanded that the investigation into the death of a police officer to be handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). The investigation was taken off from the police and was handed over to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) after orders from the chief minister.

“It has been almost five days since CID has taken over the investigations. But they are yet to arrest Trinamool Congress’s Borough 15 chairman Mohammad Iqbal, who is one of the prime accused in the murder of the policeman. We believe that they are acting partial,” said leader of the opposition Surya Kanta Mishra.