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Jadavpur University hub of anti-nationals, VC supporting them: BJP

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in West Bengal on Saturday termed Jadavpur University (JU) as a “hub of anti-national elements” and accused the Opposition CPI(M) and the varsity’s Vice-Chancellor of supporting them, a day after rival groups of students clashed on the campus over screening of a political film.

india Updated: May 07, 2016 21:11 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Jadavpur University Students chasing the car of film director Vivek Agnihotri to show him black flag as they protest against screening of his new film 'Buddha in a Traffic Jam' at University campus in Kolkata on May 6.
Jadavpur University Students chasing the car of film director Vivek Agnihotri to show him black flag as they protest against screening of his new film 'Buddha in a Traffic Jam' at University campus in Kolkata on May 6.(PTI)

The BJP dubbed Kolkata’s Jadavpur University as a hub of “anti-national elements” on Saturday and state governor Keshari Nath Tripathi expressed his displeasure about violent clashes between rival groups over screening of a film on campus.

The reactions came after the south Kolkata campus turned into a battleground on Friday night following clashes between JU students and supporters of ABVP over the screening of the film Buddha in a Traffic Jam.

“Jadavpur University is a hub of anti-nationals. Left- backed students unions are breeding ground for anti-nationals and that is why we have seen anti-India slogans being raised by a section of JU students,” state BJP chief Dilip Ghosh told PTI.

Film director Vivek Agnihotri interacts with the media after his car was stopped by the students at the entrance of Jadavpur University campus for screening of his film 'Buddha in a Traffic Jam' in Kolkata on May 6. (PTI)

Tripathi – also the chancellor of the university – called for a report on the incident. “The university that was once a centre of excellence is turning into a centre of indiscipline,” he said.

This is the latest in a series of campus unrests across the country involving right-wing groups. Opposition parties have accused the BJP of trying to muzzle free speech and dissent with violence.

The left-leaning Jadavpur University hit the headlines earlier this year after rallies were taken out in support of the students at Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University who were accused of sedition for allegedly shouting “anti-national” slogans.

Sources said ABVP supporters came to the campus to free four of their supporters who were kept locked in the campus by the students.

The JU students alleged these four ABVP supporters molested some women in the campus. The four ABVP supporters were also beaten up and had to be hospitalised.

Also Read | Buddha In A Traffic Jam screening cancelled at Jadavpur University

ABVP activists clash with Jadavpur University Students who stopped the car of film director Vivek Agnihotri during their agitation against screening of his film 'Buddha in a Traffic Jam' on May 6. (PTI)

The situation got so bad that vice-chancellor Suranjan Das rushed to the university to handle the situation and witnessed the clashes. At one point, the university’s gate had to be closed with ABVP supporters trying to break in.

“ The screening of a film, cleared by the censor board, was stopped illegally. The trend of CPI(M) and Left-backed student unions of JU has been to stop anything against their ideology, which is totally against the country’s democratic set up. We condemn it,” Ghosh said.

Das also applied pressure on police, saying he hoped proper action will be taken as per provisions in law. “We would also like to know what happened after to the FIR that we filed after Friday’s incident,” Das said.

“Police should remember that the complaint was lodged by the university authorities. The police are answerable. We will try to know the fate of the FIRs from the police. We expect an answer from the police. In future we would take steps to avoid such incidents,” said Das.

On Friday night JU authorities lodged a complaint against four outsiders entering the university premises. A second FIR was lodged by 10 students of the university against the four outsiders on charges of molestation.

Also Read | 4 ABVP, BJP workers booked for ‘molesting’ Jadavpur University students

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