New Delhi: Violence broke out at Kolkata’s Jadavpur University (JU) late Thursday after suspected supporters of the Sangh Parivar and members of its student wing, the Akhil Bharatiya Vidhyarthi Parishad (ABVP), set ablaze vehicles outside one of its gates, in protest against Union Minister Babul Supriyo being gheraoed and ‘manhandled’ by a section of Left-leaning students in the university.
It is also alleged that they vandalised the university’s Students Federation of India (SFI)-run arts faculty students’ union room and ‘purified’ it by spraying ‘ABVP’ on the walls.
On Friday, Supriyo, in a tweet, alleged that there was no administrative action by the state government. Condemning SFI ‘hooligans’, he wrote that ‘dirty politics’ had overcome the government’s ‘logic.’
Earlier on Thursday, the Union Minister, who is also the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP from Asansol, was blocked from leaving JU, where he had come to attend a function organised by the ABVP to welcome freshers. It is alleged that Supriyo was manhandled by the students, who also proceeded to tear up his shirt. A student was also seen on camera pulling the BJP leader’s hair.
The situation, eventually, got so much out of control, that West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar, who, in his capacity as the Governor, is also the JU chancellor, had to personally come to the campus to ‘rescue’ the Union Minister. However, the Governor, too, faced protests as his car, too, was gheraoed. It was only after 8 PM that he was able to leave the university, with Supriyo, after some teachers intervened and convinced the students to let the two go.
The incident has also triggered a war of words between the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) and the BJP. While the latter condemned the incident, the former accused the Governor of being ‘partisan’ to the BJP and going to the campus without informing the state government.
The Governor, however, said that he did speak to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who earlier in the day, met Union Home Minister Amit Shah in Delhi. He also said that the Chief Minister, too, was ‘equally concerned’ about the incident.