Police start survey at Visva Bharati in Bengal to seek opinions of senior residents
Days after the vandalism at Visva Bharati, the only Central university in Bengal, hitthe headlines, the Birbhum district administration has started a survey to collect opinion from people (especially veteran teachers and senior citizens) who live in the campus.
Shyam Singh, superintendent of police of Birbhum district and his team on Sunday went door to door on bicycles wearing kurta and pyjama (just like the students) and talked to residents. Most people told the SP that they do not want walls being constructed by the vice-chancellor as it goes against the spirit with which Rabindranath Tagore built the institution.
“People now have to take a detour just because walls have come up in Shantiniketan. Senior citizens are facing problems as they have to walk a longer distance. The path which could have been covered just by one minute’s walk is now taking more than 10 minutes,” said Urmila Ganguly, a senior citizen.
Last Monday even chief minister Mamata Banerjee was visibly irritated with the boundary wall at Visva Bharati. The chief minister had said that she doesn’t want any construction that destroys the beauty of Visva Bharati. “When Rabindranath Tagore built Visva Bharati he wanted students to be in the heart of nature and study in the open. He did not want wood and cement structures,” Banerjee had said.
While speaking to the police team, Tagore’s great grandson Supriyo Thakur also expressed his displeasure and disapproved of the idea of building walls.
“It is a welcome move that the district administration has come to discuss with the senior citizens but the idea of building walls is not acceptable,” he said.
On August 17, a large crowd of local people led by some Trinamool Congress (TMC) leaders, demolished two gates of the campus of Visva Bharati and vandalised construction material stocked by the authorities to build a wall around the ground where an annual fair is held.
The university authorities have already demanded a CBI probe into the incident and also requested the Centre to deploy central paramilitary forces for security at the campus.
“In an administrative meeting held by the chief minister several persons had expressed their displeasure with the walls that have been built at Visva Bharati. We went to seek the opinion of some senior residents on a Sunday morning,” said a senior police officer who was in the team.
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