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Bengal govt to punish those who assaulted JU students


Partha Chatterjee


Kolkata: Trinamool Congress secretary general and West Bengal Education Minister Partha Chatterjee on Friday said the state government will take punitive action against those who assaulted Jadavpur University students and vandalised the campus on Thursday.

The minister said the government expected governor Jageep Dhankar - also the university chancellor - who had gone to the campus when Union minister Babul Supriyo was being heckled, to ensure justice for the vice-chancellor, professors and students who were roughed up during and after the minister's visit there.

"We must punish the culprits who assaulted the students, including the girls of Jadavpur University, and ransacked the campus," said Chatterjee.

Supriyo was heckled, slapped, punched and detained for hours by the Left students on the campus when he attended a freshers' welcome and addressed a seminar on the National Register of Citizens organised by the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad.

A JU student leader said Federation of Arts Students (FAS), Students Federation of India, All India Students Association and United Students' Democratic Front (USDF) were involved in the protest against Supriyo.

The leader said Trinamool Congress Chhatra Parishad members also took part in the protest, but the Trinamool Congress denied it.

However, the Left students have blamed Supriyo for the situation turning for the worse, saying his sexist comments against the girls and constant provocation took things out of control. They also accused the minister of pushing students.

After vice-chancellor Suranjan Das and pro-vice chancellor Pradip Kumar Ghosh got admitted to hospital, Supriyo was "rescued" by state Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar, who drove to the university escorted by a large police force, and brought the Union minister out of the campus in his car.

However, on his arrival, Dhankhar was also stranded for close to an hour on the campus as the radical Left protestors held a sit-in and even lay prostrate before his vehicle.

Before the governor got Supriyo out of the university, ABVP activists, armed with sticks, rods and bamboo poles, went on rampage on the campus vandalising a union room and breaking its furniture, ceiling fan and computer, besides defacing the walls. They also beat up a shopkeeper and set fire to tyres.

The Left students also alleged that the ABVP activists also threw stones, and beat up a number of students.

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