KOLKATA: West Bengal's ruling Trinamool Congress MLA Dipak Haldar was today arrested for his alleged involvement in a clash between rival factions of the party's students' front in a college in South 24 Parganas district.
Late tonight, an estimated 400 supporters of Haldar peacefully demonstrated before the local police station.
The supporters camped before the Diamond Harbour police station in the presence of mediapersons shouting slogans for his unconditional release as a police force kept a watchful eye.
The arrest of Haldar, at the instance of chief minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, came after several students were injured when two factions of Trinamool Congress Chhatra Parishad (TMCP) clashed in the college campus earlier in the day.
Haldar was seen at the spot during the clash, district police said.
The students clashed with sticks for over an hour leaving several of them injured, police said, adding battle for supremacy could be the reason for the confrontation.
State Education Minister Partha Chatterjee told PTI that the "the chief minister had given the order to arrest MLA Dipak Haldar for being allegedly involved in campus violence at Fakirchand College in South 24 Parganas district."
However, the opposition termed the arrest as a eyewash and falllout of TMC factional feud.
The arrest of the TMC MLA comes in the backdrop of incidents of campus violence across the state and opposition parties accusing the state administration of staying mum on them due to alleged involvement of TMCP.
The TMC leadership, however, claimed that the arrest showed the impartial approach of the state administration.
Opposition CPI(M) claimed that the arrest was due to Haldar being involved in factional feud within the party.
"When teachers and professors were assaulted by TMCP activists and leaders, no one was arrested. Recently, a student was killed (at Sabang) and the main culprits are still roaming freely. But Dipak Haldar was arrested because it was a factional fight between the two groups of TMCP and the women there were aggrieved by his role," CPI(M) leader Sujan Chakraborty said.
The Congress leadership too termed the arrest as a eyewash.