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Five TMC men held for beating, molesting Visva-Bharati University students in West Bengal for protesting felling of trees 

Protesters alleged that Trinamool Congress cadres led by local leader Nurul Huda Kaji attacked the demonstration and beat up men and women indiscriminately and molested women in the melee.

Published: 10th March 2018 12:16 PM  |   Last Updated: 10th March 2018 12:49 PM   |  A+A-

Police trying to prevent clashes between TMC supporters and Visva-Bharati University students at Shyambati of Santiniketan in Birbhum district of West Bengal on Friday evening. | Express Photo Services

Express News Service

KOLKATA: As many as five people were arrested on Saturday morning for allegedly physically and sexually assaulting Visva-Bharati University students, including women and foreigners, who were protesting felling of trees undertaken by PWD for widening of roads at Shyambati area of Bolpur in Birbhum district of West Bengal on Friday evening.

Protesters alleged that Trinamool Congress cadres led by local leader Nurul Huda Kaji attacked the demonstration and beat up men and women indiscriminately and molested women in the melee.

A video has surfaced in social media where students are seen engaging in heated exchanges with a group of men in the presence of a police officer. While the students were seen urging the men to forego the chopping, the men accused the students of obstructing work. The men then went on to beat up the students to break their protest.

“In the presence of police, they threatened to seek revenge. Our protest was against felling of trees and not any political party,” a student said on condition of anonymity.

The protesters claimed that several students, including a foreign student, were injured in the incident and rushed to the local hospital. The remaining protesters were evacuated from the spot after heavy police deployment.

Santiniketan police station SHO Jayanta Das told the New Indian Express that five persons have been arrested in connection with the assault and cases under Section 354 (punishment for sexual harassment) have been lodged against them.

Visva-Bharati University Faculty Association (VBUFA) condemned the attack and lent their support towards the movement against felling of trees. “It is shameful that trees are being felled indiscriminately around the Ashram. We stand by the students who draw their inspiration from Visva-Bharati founder Rabindranath Tagore and call upon all students and concerned citizens to support the students in their green movement,” the VBUFA statement read.



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