Describing the students' gherao as a planned conspiracy to destabilise the functioning of the Jadavpur University, its Vice-Chancellor Abhijit Chakrabarti today said he might have been killed by the protesters had the police not rescued him.
"It was a life-threatening situation for me and other members of the executive council who were under gherao. I fear I would have been killed had the police not come," Chakrabarti told PTI.
He said that the gherao was a planned conspiracy by a group or groups of people against him and to disrupt the functioning of the institute.
"There were people from outside who came to the campus and joined the protests. We heard them saying reinforcements are coming from outside and none of the teachers could recognise the protesters," Chakrabarti said, adding, he saw students hurling abuses at him and the rest of the teachers.
"We had no other option but to call the police to rescue us. When the police was taking me out of my office late in the night I saw people attacking the police and threatening to take me away. I am an eye-witness to it. I have never seen them in the campus. I do not who they were," the VC said.
After being held hostage in his office from 4 PM till the wee hours of today, he felt sick following which the doctors advised him to take bed rest for 4-5 days.
The students had gheraoed them demanding that two external members be included into the committee that is investigating the alleged molestation of a girl student.
The VC said the committee had been formed as per the guidelines of the Supreme Court.
"I have no right to do anything in this as I cannot change the committee by going against the rules of the court and UGC," he said.
Students on the other hand alleged that the police manhandled them and even molested girl students.
Carrying banners demanding the VC's resignation over the incident, they brought out a protest-march in the evening in which hundreds of students from other institutes took part.
"It was a peaceful protest and we were demanding an explanation from the VC but he did not come out to talk to us. After that the police came, beat us up brutally and even molested the girls," the protesting students said.
The VC said he would soon write to the state government and try to restore normalcy in the campus which was closed today on account of Vishwakarma Puja.
The CPI-M student wing SFI and three other unions of the university called a statewide student strike tomorrow to protest the "brutal attack against students".