West Bengal governor justifies Jadavpur University visit, TMC stands by students
A day after Union minister Babul Supriyo was heckled at Jadavpur University (JU) by students belonging to Left-affiliated organizations, West Bengal governor Jagdeep Dhankhar, who had rushed in to rescue the MoS, issued a statement justifying his action.
Throughout the day, various rallies were held in Kolkata over the incident. While the BJP held protests over the episode, supporters of Left-wing organizations held rallies over the ransacking of students’ union room allegedly by the supporters of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the students’ wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.
Governor Dhankhar’s statement sought to refute Trinamool Congress secretary general and education minister Partha Chatterjee’s allegation that he went to the university without informing the state government. It said it had become necessary “as the vice chancellor and the pro-vice chancellor had left the university while Union minister Babul Supriyo continued to be detained by the agitating students/persons there.” It also said that Dhankhar had held many telephonic interactions with the CM.
Later, the TMC issued a statement, reiterating that “universities are autonomous institutions and as per time-honoured tradition, police cannot enter university campus without permission of the V-C.”
The BJP state unit took out a rally while the ABVP demonstrated outside the JU campus in protest against yesterday’s incident.
In south Kolkata, supporters of various Left-wing student organizations took out two rallies in protest against the ransacking of the students’ union room allegedly by ABVP supporters.
However, BJP state president Dilip Ghosh defended the ABVP action and said, “Just as we demolished the camps in Pakistan in surgical strike, the rooms that are cradles of anti-nationals should be demolished… We know how to break the arms that attacked Babul.”
Two complaints have been filed at the Jadavpur police station over the incident. BJP leader Agnimitra Paul, who was accompanying Supriyo, has complained about physical assault and abuse and students have made similar allegations against the minister, Paul and others. The police did not comment on the complaints till evening.
Later, Supriyo took to Twitter to reveal the identity of one of his attackers by posting his photo. The youth was identified as a member of United Students’ Democratic Front.
Students also shared a photo of the attack on their union room, identifying an attacker as the state unit joint secretary of the ABVP. Neither of the men could be contacted for comments.
Meanwhile, senior BJP leaders have come out in Supriyo’s support. Union petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan condemned the “extreme left hooliganism by Didi’s goons”.
BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain, blaming the CPIM’s students’ wing, SFI, tweeted: “Really anguished to see the state of affairs in West Bengal, where Union Minister Babul Supriyo ji was attacked by the SFI goons. These goons could have the audacity to attack a Union Minister only because they are backed by the state government.”
Shyama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation director Anirban Ganguly tweeted that instead of making “false accusations” against the Bengal governor, “the state education minister must look into the reasons for his own failure & the silence which Mamata Banerjee has maintained”.