FILE photo: Jadavpur University students protesting against the police crackdown inside the campus in September 2014.
A third-year engineering student of Jadavpur University in Kolkata was rushed to the hospital this evening after he fainted on campus. Shivam Ghosh was one of 12 students who went on an indefinite hunger strike since Monday night demanding Vice Chancellor Avijit Chakraborty's resignation.
Mr Ghosh, along with the other students, had also met State Education Minister Partha Chatterjee today, to participate in talks to end the deadlock at the university. The meeting was described by some students as "futile".
The students had then returned to campus to hold a meeting to discuss Mr Chatterjee's appeal - he had urged them to call off the hunger strike. But with Mr Ghosh falling ill, the meeting has not been held yet.
Mr Chatterjee met several delegations from Jadavpur University today, including the Vice Chancellor himself. Members of the Jadavpur University Teachers' Association (JUTA), who met the Education Minister as well, also reiterated their demand for the Vice Chancellor's resignation. The fasting students met Mr Chatterjee at his office around 2:30 pm, after marching a short distance from Karuamoyee in Salt Lake to Bikash Bhavan, where the Education Minister has his office.
"We are reaching a solution," Mr Chatterjee said after the meetings. "The ice has to melt. You may not like us, but discuss your problems with us. We were also students once. You can't shut all doors. You have to keep some doors open."
Trouble started at Jadavpur University on September 16. Late that night, the Vice Chancellor, who had been blockaded in the university's administrative building by the students, called in the police to get him out. The police forcibly removed the students who had barred Mr Chakraborty's exit. Some students were injured in the clash.
The incident was followed by protests and class boycotts for weeks. With JUTA backing the students' demand for the VC's removal, matters seem to have gone from bad to worse.
On December 24, at the JU convocation, the girl student who was judged the best all-round student refused to accept her medal from the Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi, who is also the university's Chancellor.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and the Governor have been informed about the meetings with the VC and students today, said the Education Minister.