Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Posted at: May 16, 2019, 6:50 AM; last updated: May 16, 2019, 6:52 AM (IST)

Punish attackers, demand students

Tribune News Service

Kolkata, May 15

“At first water was splashed. Then suddenly bricks started raining. I pushed Debasish sir (a teacher looking after the UGC’s IQAC programme), who was near the door, inside and then cut off the power supply. Then I bolted the door leading to the corridor and escaped,” says Shanti Ranjan Mohanti, a security guard at Kolkata’s Vidyasagar College where TMC-BJP supporters clashed yesterday.

Rocks, broken bricks and branches of trees are still strewn inside the college premises as a testimony to last night’s violent events that started when a group of people, part of a roadshow led by BJP chief Amit Shah, allegedly attacked the college.

When this reporter visited the college this afternoon, a ‘dharna’ was being staged at the main entrance. Displaying a portrait of 19th century reformer Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, students, also members of the Trinamool Chhatra Parishad affiliated to the TMC, were demanding punishment for those responsible for the attack on the college.

Monirul Mandal, general secretary of the college’s student union, claimed students did not do anything to provoke participants of the Amit Shah-led rally yesterday.

“Shah was shown black flags at the Calcutta University campus by TMCP members which is not far from our college. BJP goons could not do anything there because of the heavy presence of police. Here there were no police. The TMC flag in front of our college may have prompted BJP men to attack the institution,” Mandal claimed.

Three motorcycles were set ablaze in front of the college gate during violence yesterday. While Shah today claimed that the bikes belonged to BJP supporters, Mandal said one motorcycle was his, another of students’ union president Sanu Makal and the third of Somnath Das, a senior student. “The BJP can get the registration number of the bikes verified if they doubt us,” he said.


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