KOLKATA: Visva Bharati authorities on Wednesday skipped a meeting convened by the Birbhum district magistrate in the wake of ruckus at the central university over the construction of a boundary wall on an open land which is venue of the annual Poush Mela (winter fair).
Though the local elected representatives and police were present at the meeting but no one from the university authorities turned up. On Monday, trouble broke out at the university founded by Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore after a large number of locals protested against the university’s decision of constructing of a boundary wall in the adjoining open ground.
Some 3,000 odd people went on the rampage damaging a portion of the newly built wall and some heritage structure using a bulldozer. The gate of the ground was also pulled down. On Wednesday, Visva-Bharati University Faculty Association said it favoured discussions with all the stakeholders before any crucial decision is taken by the authorities.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had said that the police are not authorised to enter the central university premises if their help is not sought by the vice-chancellor. “I do not want any construction on the Poush Mela ground as it will destroy the beauty and essence of Shantiniketan. I have asked the DM to discuss the issue with the university.
’’The university authority informed the Centre about the incident on Monday. Visva Bharati authorities decided to suspend Poush Mela on the ground citing its bitter experience of the previous two years in organising the event amid a tussle with traders over NGT guidelines.