Locals in Bolpur in Bengal’s Birbhum district vandalised construction material stocked by authorities to build a wall around the ground of the Visva Bharati university where an annual fair is held.(ANI Photo)
Locals in Bolpur in Bengal’s Birbhum district vandalised construction material stocked by authorities to build a wall around the ground of the Visva Bharati university where an annual fair is held.(ANI Photo)

Visva Bharati seeks CBI probe into clashes

The university on Tuesday night issued a statement alleging that the police did not take any step to stop the vandalism although intimation was sent to the district magistrate, superintendent of police, the state chief secretary, home secretary and personal secretary to the chief minister.
By HT Correspondent | Hindustan Times, Kolkata
UPDATED ON AUG 19, 2020 03:07 AM IST

A day after vandalism forced its closure, Santiniketan’s Visva Bharati university on Tuesday sought a CBI probe into the incident, in which a mob demolished two gates of the university. It also requested the Centre to deploy central paramilitary forces for security at the campus. This comes hours after the university lodged a police complaint against a Trinamool Congress (TMC) MLA and eight others accusing them of participating in the violence.

The university named Naresh Bauri, a resident of Bolpur and TMC MLA from the district’s Dubrajpur constituency in the complaint. Other than Bauri, three other TMC leaders were also named as accused, university teachers said.

The university on Tuesday night issued a statement alleging that the police did not take any step to stop the vandalism although intimation was sent to the district magistrate, superintendent of police, the state chief secretary, home secretary and personal secretary to the chief minister. “The university will request a CBI inquiry to look into the August 17 incident,” said the statement, adding that the staff members will hold a 12-hour fast on Wednesday as a mark of protest. The university also decided not to open the campus till those accused of the violence are booked by the police, said a statement issued by the university on Monday evening.

Amid all this, the vice-chancellor decided not to attend the meeting called by Birbhum district magistrate Moumita Godara Basu on Wednesday to discuss the issue with the university authorities, students, local traders and residents. On Monday, Bauri claimed that he took part in the agitation as a former student of Visva Bharati and not as TMC leader.

However, he could not be contacted on Tuesday. The traders also lodged a police complaint against the vice-chancellor. In the statement, Visva Bharati said the allegations were false and they must be withdrawn to make the staff members feel safe.

The BJP has accused the TMC of masterminding the vandalism. “This is an example of law and order situation in Bengal. The TMC is trying to establish control over a Central university campus,” said BJP state chief Dilip Ghosh. The VC did not talk to the media on Tuesday as well.

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