New Delhi: The Kolkata Police on Monday stopped a protest march to the Jadavpur University (JU), by the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), against the ‘heckling and manhandling‘ of Union Minister Babul Supriyo in the university on September 19.
The right-wing students’ organisation started its protest march to JU from Gariahat area in south Kolkata. However, they were stopped by the police at Jodhpur Park, two kilometres away. The protesters, reportedly, pelted stones at the police, tried to break the barricades and raised slogans against the state’s ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) government.
Earlier today, breaking her silence on the controversy and justifying protests that took place at the university, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee told news agency ANI, “Protests are an important part of a democracy. The day protests lose their value, India will stop being India. Democracy still exists in Bengal while there is no democracy at a few places.”
Supriyo, the BJP MP from Asansol, was last Thursday blocked and gheraoed at Jadavpur University, where he had gone to participate in a function organised by the ABVP to welcome freshers. He was ‘manhandled’ and ‘kept hostage’ for several hours, forcing Jagdeep Dhankhar, who, in his capacity as West Bengal Governor, is also the JU chancellor, to came down to the campus himself and ‘rescue’ Supriyo.
However, the Governor’s car, too, was blocked and gheraoed by the agitating students. It was only after 8 PM that the two could leave the campus after some teachers were able to convince the students to ‘let the two go.’
The incident also led to violence outside the university as activists allegedly belonging to the ABVP and the Sangh set bikes on fire near gate number four. The students’ union room of the Arts faculty, too, was vandalised.