Krishnanagar, July 6: 19 teachers of Krishnanagar Women’s College sat on dharna since Friday afternoon in college campus after they found that the staff room has been allegedly locked by principal Manabi Bandopadhyay when they went to meet District Magistrate Sumit Gupta to submit a deputation against her.
The teachers who abstained classes for about one and half hour without any formal approval of her had apparently angered the principal who locked the staff room and refused to open it without any written appeal. This led to an impasse as the teachers refused to submit any written appeal requesting her to open the staff room; instead they sat in front of the locked staff room and continued to remain there till late in the night when report last came in.
Professor Manabi Bandhopadhyay is India’s first transgender college principal, who joined Krishnanagar Women’s College in 2015. But, since beginning she got embroiled with controversies, mainly about her functioning and her alleged behaviour that caused resentment among teaching, non teaching staff as well as the students. The students also in last week submitted a deputation against her to the district administration.
However, Manabi on Friday claimed to have acted strongly against the ‘indisciplined’ teachers for sake of the students.
She said, “The students often complain me about absence of teachers. They alleged that the teachers do not take classes regularly. So today I just went for a round to visit the staff rooms. But, I was shocked to see that out of 26 teachers there was none. I later found two teachers in the campus who were taking classes. I told them to sit in my office when their classes end and asked the guard to lock the staff room. Later I came to know that the teachers went to meet DM, which they cannot go leaving the classes and without any approval”.
The teachers refuted the allegations of absence. They claimed that twenty teachers attended the college on Friday and eighteen of them went to meet the district magistrate to submit a deputation which is close to the college.
“We were in the college from 11am to 12.30pm and took classes as per routine. But we went to DM’s office later and returned at about 2pm. We found the staff room locked then. Our bags, books and lunch boxes were inside. We told the guard to open the door, but he refused. After that we decided to sit in front of the staff room protesting the act of the principal. Police officials later came and told us to give a written appeal so that the bags could be returned, but we refused”, said professor Gour Das Sarkar.
Principal Manabi Bandopadhyay said, “No body came to me and requested me to open the staff room, so question of seeking written appeal does not arise. I am still waiting in my chamber, but no body came so far”.
The teachers alleged that they for obvious reason did not inform the principal about their visit to DM.
“We are being regularly tortured mentally tortured by the principal. She often abuse us with filthy language, refuses child care leave, does not allow the teachers to join refresher course. She has also adopted unlawful means in admission of students including admitting students offline violating the government’s instruction. We were compelled to go against her and submitted a deputation to the DM being the administrator of the college to appraise him about present situation of the college”, a teacher said.
Principal Bandopadhyay, however, refuted the allegation. “The teachers went against me because I protested against their habitual absence and skipping classes. The students also complaint me yesterday about absence of teachers. So I went to check the situation and found that the teachers skipped classes as per the whims, which cannot be tolerated”