Two days after thousands walked in solidarity with Jadavpur University student protestors, West Bengal’s ruling Trinamool Congress’s students wing took out a large counter-rally decrying “hooliganism in educational institutes in the name of agitation”. Also Read - Inspiring! Meerut Woman Who Left Home To Avoid Forced Marriage Returns As PCS Officer 7 Years Later
The Trinamool march came on the day state Education Minister Partha Chatterjee announced a probe panel to look into the alleged sexual harassment of a female student of the Jadavpur University – the alleged incident that triggered the wave of agitations in the city. Also Read - Before Reporting For Duty, This Bengaluru Cop Teaches Children of Migrant Workers Everyday For An Hour
Starting from the Academy of Fine Arts in central Kolkata, the Trinamool students wing rally made its way to the Mayo Road but was devoid of any party flags or symbols. The route was the one taken by the Jadvapur University rallyists Saturday. Also Read - Ready to Send Children Back to School? 78% Parents Say No, Willing to Let Kids Repeat An Academic Year
“We are here to protest the disruption of educational system in universities in the guise of agitations. We are here to study and not create disturbances,” a participating student said.
Banners of “We want peace, our focus is development” dominated the march.
On Saturday, thousands marched in the heavy rain and raised slogans of “Hok Kolorob” (Let there be shouts) and staged a sit-in demonstration as police barricades went up.
Later, a seven-member delegation of students from the university met Governor K.N. Tripathi at Raj Bhavan and sought his intervention. The governor, who is the chancellor of the university, was reported to have expressed moral support.
In the counter-rally Monday, the protesters, primarily students, used a spin-off of the slogan and led the way with shouts of “Hok Hok Gorjon” (Let there be noise).
In the rally Monday, Trinamool Congress Chhatra Parishad chief Shankhudeb Panda reiterated Trinamool Congress MP Abhsihek Banerjee’s question whether the real motive for the protests in the university was the ban on drugs and liquor.
In a Facebook post, Abhishek – nephew of chief minister and Trinamool supremo Mamata Banerjee – posed: “Is this protest due to the banning of ganja (cannabis), liquor and charas (marijuana)?”
While the university formed a probe panel to investigate the alleged incident of a female student being dragged into the boys’ hostel and molested last month, the students have been demanding a fresh and independent probe panel.
Several students were injured in a police crackdown last week when they were demonstrating against Vice Chancellor Abhijit Chakrabarty seeking a fresh probe. The violent crackdown has led to students demanding Chakrabarty’s removal.
The victim’s father has alleged non-cooperation from Chakrabarty.