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HindustanTimes Sun,21 Sep 2014

Presidency incident becomes political controversy

PTI  Kolkata, April 11, 2013
First Published: 22:28 IST(11/4/2013) | Last Updated: 22:31 IST(11/4/2013)

The vandalism at Presidency college on Thursday saw the ruling Trinamool Congress and the CPI-M trading charges over the incident even as West Bengal Governor M K Narayanan asserted that those those behind it should be treated like criminals.

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The Trinamool Congress, which denied its involvement in yesterday's trouble, on Thursday found itself on the backfoot with video footage aired by television channels showing a Trinamool Councillor, along with two other party activists, leading the protests outside the prestigious college.

"Those who ransacked (the university departyments)should be treated like criminals," Narayanan, also the chancellor of the University, told reporters in Kolkata.

TMC councillor Partha Basu who was in the thick of the controversy for allegedly having led the perpetrators, denied a hand in the vandalism.

"We were protesting the attack on the chief minister and finance minister. We were near the gate of the university. One of our senior leaders was hurt by a brickbat. We went to the medical college where he received four stitches.

"I don't know what happened as we did not go inside the university. I will resign from the councillor's post if it is found we went inside the university," he said.

Countering him, the vice-chancellor of the university Malabika Sarkar said "What happened yesterday was shocking. I will write (to Governor) that the attackers carried TMC flags and ransacked and vandalised various departments of the university."

Sarkar, who took part in a protest march with students, faculty and alumini of the university during the day appealed to chief minister Mamata Banerjee to ensure an investigation to identify the attackers and said hooligans had beaten up students and made obscene remarks against girl students.

"We are not going to take the incident lying down. The incident has shown that Presidency was taken as a soft target. We cannot accept this," she said.

Accusing the Trinamool, CPI-M leader Mohd Salim said from the vice chacellor to the students everyone was saying it was Trinamool which was behind the vandalism. He said the police remained silent spectators because they knew TMC leaders were present. "Trinamool has also not uttered a single word of condemnation so far," he said.


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