KOLKATA: Day after Union minister Babul Surpriyo was allegedly heckled and confined at Jadavpur University, West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankar denied the ruling Trinamool’s charge that he visited the campus without keeping the state government in the loop.
The governor also issued a strong statement, denouncing the fracas on the hallowed campus and the alleged confinement of the Asansol MP for over four hours.
In a statement issued by the Raj Bhawan, it was said that the Chancellor’s visit to the campus became necessary as the vice-chancellor and the pro-vice-chancellor had left the campus while the Union minister was being detained by agitating students.
“In his capacity as Chancellor, being guardian of the students, he took the call so as to connect with the students,” the statement read.
Amid ugly scenes on campus, Trinamool Secretary General Partha Chatterjee on Thursday claimed the governor did not leave a prior word with the state administration before visiting the university and also turned down Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s request to give her government more time to resolve the issue peacefully.
However, the statement from Raj Bhavan, “The Governor/chancellor took initiative in connecting with the Hon’ble Chief Minister, West Bengal, and duly apprised her of the grave situation. There were many telephonic interactions between the two and in his high regard that the Governor/chancellor has for the Hon’ble CM, he would not like to divulge the conversation, except that he left for the place after the situation did not show any change.”
Even as the BJP erupted in protest on Friday, state BJP chief Dilip Ghosh wrote to Union Home Minister Amit Shah, apprising him of the events.
Meanwhile, the Jadavpur University Teachers Association (JUTA) on Friday accused Supriyo of making “highly provocative” gestures, which, it said, aggravated the situation. However, it said the students shouldn’t have fallen prey to that provocation.
Intellectuals target minister, rue students’ conduct
A group of prominent personalities of West Bengal, including film director Aparna Sen, on Friday, expressed concern over the violence and arson that took place during and after the visit of Union minister Babul Supriyo to Jadavpur University campus on Thursday.
While decrying the minister’s behaviour with the vice-chancellor, 15 personalities, in a statement, said, “The protesting students should have behaved in a restrained manner keeping in mind the restive atmosphere in the entire country.... Students should not be treated as hardened criminals.”