Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s sermons to her supporters to maintain peace and discipline in educational institutions seems to have a very brief appeal on Tuesday as ruling party supporters ransacked Meghnad Saha College at Itahar in North Dinajpur district and beat up the principal and two other teachers after they caught the wife of a Trinamool zilla parishad member cheating in an exam.
While Mamata was trying to restore the image of Trinamool Congress Chhatra Parishad that was involved in a series of campus violence in Bengal over the pas two years, her supporters did just the opposite of what she preached about 400 kms away.
According to the college authorities, the student, Pampa Pal, was caught copying from pieces of papers two teachers of the college, Sudev Roy and Srijiti Dey.
Pal is the wife of Gautam, Pal, a Trinamool representative and member of the zilla parishad. Pal’s answer script was confiscated. She was writing a sociology examination.
Pal alleged the teachers in the examination hall were creating disturbance, and his wife was punished for protesting against the nuisance created by teachers.
Swapna Mukherjee, the principal of the college alleged that when she was coming out of the examination hall with the confiscated answer script, outsiders stormed the college and started overturning tables and breaking chairs and other furniture.
Mukherjee also said that the marauders beat her up and two other teachers. The principal’s room too was ransacked.
“The principal, Swapna Mukherjee is the wife of former CPI minister, Srikumar Mukherjee. She is cooking up the incident and trying to malign us,” alleged Gautam Pal on Tuesday evening.
“Pal is resorting to plain untruth. There cannot be any politics involved in such an incident. Students from many Trinamool-minded families come to study here. Why would any student be victimized on the basis of political beliefs,” said Swapna Mukherjee, the principal of the college.
In the evening, Gautam Pal alleged that the teachers slapped his wife. But why didn’t he complain to the police then? “I was tired. So was my wife. She has told me the teachers in the college slapped her. The teachers themselves overturned the tables and ransacked the place. The principal is politically motivated and is associated with the CPI(M),” said Gautam Pal.
“My wife has passed out from an IIT. She is a PhD and has guided PhD students. She became a principal on her own qualifications. She need not stoop so low,” retorted Srikumar Mukherjee.
“Please note there are criminal cases pending against the zilla parishad member,” alleged Mukherjee.
The incident is the reminiscent of January 5, 2012 incident in the same district when the principal and another professor of University College, Raiganj were beaten up by Trinamool Congress Chhatra Parishad supporters.
That day Trinamool supporters had gone to submit a memorandum to the college principal. They had also resorted to vandalism and attacked the teachers. That incident forced principal, Dilip De Sarkar, to resign.
Gautam Pal said, they would complain to the police against the college authorities.