A Trinamool Lok Sabha MP and a former lecturer at Visva-Bharati was on Tuesday allegedly manhandled by a few employees of the university and party supporters in West Bengal’s Birbhum district.
Anupam Hazra was sacked by university authorities in June 2015 for taking an unauthorised leave. Hazra, who did not join even after his lien was over, asked for leave after he became an MP from Bolpur parliamentary seat.
In June last year, the then varsity registrar-in-charge asked Hazra to revert to his parent organisation – Assam University – and did not allow him to rejoin VB.
Hazra then raised the matter with the Union ministry of human resource development. In August 2015, the Joint Committee of Parliament ruled he could join his classes.
On June 3, he and his father Debnath Hazra staged a sit-in protest in front of the vice chancellor’s office demanding that the university reinstates him. Authorities, however, asked him to vacate the place.
On Monday, Hazra protested for more than eight hours disrupting the functioning of the office. Tuesday was the third day when Hazra came to demonstrate in front of the VC’s office.
The employees of the university heckled him when he came back on Tuesday at around 11:30am with his father, a retired police officer. They also raised slogans like “Anupam Hazra go back” and “We don’t want Anupam”.
“The acting VC has instigated the employees to descend on me. The employees were led by Debabrata Sarkar, the president of Karmisabha (employees union),” Hazra alleged while leaving the spot where he staged a protest.
Security officials and policemen rescued the MP from the attack.
Sarkar, president of Visva-Bharati Karmi Sabha (employees union) and a Trinamool leader, denied having any knowledge about the MP being manhandled by university employees.
“I don’t know anything about this. I was not present there. I don’t even want to react on what Hazra, who seems to be speaking through his hat, has alleged. Perhaps locals, who are angry with him for lack of development work and participation in local projects, have expressed their anger,” Sarkar said.
He accused Hazra of maligning the image of the party and acting against the dignity of Parliament.
“Anupam should first clarify whether he is coming to the university as an MP, or a sacked employee. He is using government facilities for his interests. Our leader Mamata Banerjee is aware of everything,” Sarkar said.
“There are many issues in Visva-Bharati that need an early solution. According to which MHRD guidelines, an acting VC and acting registrar can’t take any major decision. But a sacked employee of varsity, who is incidentally MP of this place, is making a drama to get his job back,” he said.
Birbhum district Trinamool Congress president Anubrata Mondal also accused Harza of creating a nuisance saying it was not a party matter.
“We have informed him that his matter is now under the approval of varsity’s highest body executive council. As soon as the EC takes a decision on his issue, we will inform him,” a VB official told HT earlier this month.
Hazra joined Visva-Bharati as an assistant professor in the department of social work on December 4, 2013. He worked at Assam University before being appointed by the only central university in West Bengal.