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TMCP activists vandalise Presidency University

TMCP activists vandalise Presidency University

Kolkata: Trinamool Congress Chhatra Parishad (TMCP) members stormed the Presidency University campus and beat up its students here Wednesday, an official said.

The incident occurred a day after West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee faced a protest in New Delhi organised by the Students Federation of India (SFI), the students wing of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPM).

"They were carrying TMCP flags and shouting slogans. They broke the gates and entered the campus. They beat up our students," Presidency University vice chancellor Malabika Sarkar told a media conference here.

TMCP activists had organised a rally from College Street junction near the university to protest Monday's incident in New Delhi. When it reached the university gates, some of the participants allegedly turned violent and forcibly entered the campus.

Sarkar said that police "did not take any action. It is absolutely unacceptable. They vandalised the physics department. This is an unprovoked attack on peaceful students in a university campus".

She said the mob returned to vandalise the physics department.

The heritage Baker's Building, which celebrated its centenary recently, also faced the wrath of the vandals.

"We had apprehended disturbance. But police said there was no cause of worry. Despite that, we were attacked twice," Debashruti Roychowdhury, dean of students, told the media.

An SFI supporter who was beaten up said: "They were shouting slogans eulogising Mamata Banerjee. They were carrying sticks, rods and spears. They pinned me down and shouted, 'How dare you beat up Amit Mitra?'"

After the mob left, students supporting SFI and Independent Consolidation (IC) held a meeting and called a strike Thursday to protest the violence by the TMCP.

"Teachers also were not spared. We have requested them to lend their support," said an IC leader.

Banerjee, Finance Minister Amit Mitra and others were heckled by members of the SFI outside the Planning Commission office building in New Delhi's Parliament Street Tuesday.

The SFI was protesting the death of its activist Sudipta Gupta in Kolkata Police's custody on April 2.

Trinamool Congress secretary general Partha Chatterjee said about the attack on the university: "We condemn it. The miscreants must be identified and punished. The administration will not go by any political colour. If Trinamool Congress Chhatra Parishad supporters are involved, they are enemies of the Trinamool Congress."

Left Front chairman and CPI-M state secretary Biman Bose said people even remotely interested in education could not have vandalised such an institution.

"Why didn't police prevent hooligans from breaking the century-old laboratory, which is one of the famous physics lab of Bengal? We cannot accept this," Bose said.

The university's alumni include Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore, Swami Vivekananda, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, Satyajit Ray, Marxist leader Jyoti Basu and India's first president Rajendra Prasad.

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