Hours after Union Minister Babul Supriyo was heckled and pushed by communist and Trinamool student activists preventing him from entering Jadavpur University in Kolkata last evening, ABVP and Durga Vahini activists paid them by their own coin at University campus. When the MP from West Bengal was still held hostage at the university gate by SFI and TMCP members preventing him from leaving the campus, some members of ABVP and Durga Vahini entered the union room of Arts faculty and ransacked it. Some reports suggests it was the SFI union room which was ransacked.
Yesterday Babul Supriyo, who is also an accomplished singer, had gone to the Jadavpur University to perform at a fresher’s welcome function organised by ABVP. But the left-wing groups in the university decided to prevent him from doing it, and they gheraoed him at the gate when he arrived. He was heckled, pushed, beaten, his clothes and hair were pulled by the left-wing goons. The union minister even fell down on the ground, and his shirt was torn as a result of this assault. Supriyo was stuck at the university for several hours, and even the Vice-Chancellor failed to rescue him.
Fashion designer and BJP leader Agnimitra Paul, who was accompanying the union minister, was also on the receiving end of hooliganism by pro-Naxal activists. She was manhandled, her saree was torn by the hooligans.
Eventually, after around two hours, Supriyo managed to enter the hall where the program was organised, where he delivered a speech. He thanked the ABVP members for maintaining calm despite the violent provocation. But when he came out of the hall around an hour later, he faced an even bigger mob, blocking him and preventing him from leaving. He was again kept captive for around 3 hours.
Surprisingly, police were not called even after the minister was stuck for so long, and prior arrangement of police was made even though it was known that Babul Supriyo was attending the event. ABVP members were vastly outnumbered by SFI members, and several ABVP workers were beaten up in the clash.
This non-stop assault on the BJP leaders and right-wing student activists triggered a counter-attack, and at around 7 PM, some ABVP and Durga Vahini activists entered the Arts union room located at the ground floor of the UG Arts building near gate no 4. They ransacked the union room, vandalised the furniture, torn the posters and banners etc. They also damaged a portrait of Che Guevara kept at the room. Graffiti of ABVP was painted on the walls of the room.
The group also some cycles kept near the room, and burnt all the posters and banners of the left-wing student union, creating a bonfire which was later doused by fire service. The vandalism spilled over to the street outside the university fate, and the attackers kept the road blocked for almost an hour. Few tea stalls located on the roadside were also damaged in the process.
The ransacking stopped only after the activists were informed that Babul Supriyo was let go by the Communist activists. At around 8:15, the union minister left the university campus along with governor Jagdeep Dhankhar, who had rushed to the Jadavpur University to rescue Babul Supriyo. The union minister was kept captive at the gate for over five hours by the pre-planned and coordinated efforts of left-wing students and activists. Even the governor was stuck for over an hour after arriving at the campus.
When the Jagdeep Dhankar had tried to walk into the university after getting down from the car, he was blocked by activists. He was able to enter only after the guards and police created a safe passage for him. But while going out, the activists sat on the ground, blocking their way. Some students even banged on the bonnet of the car. The Governor and minister were let go only after around an hour with the intervention of teachers.
The Vice-Chancellor of the university Suranjan Das had refused to call the police after Babul Supriyo asked him to do so after he was held up for hours. The minister had slammed the VC for failing to control the situation, saying that he is a leftist. The VC said that he would rather resign instead of calling the police. The VC than left the spot citing health issues, leaving the minister stuck. Agnimitra Paul also informed that when she requested the VC to call the police after she sas assaulted, he refused to do it, saying he needs permission to do so.
Police said that they couldn’t do anything to prevent the vandalism which was going inside the university as they can’t take any action inside the campus unless authorities ask them to do so. When the protestors blocked the road, police tried to pacify them and cleared the road, but they couldn’t enter the campus without authorisation.
Note: This report has been updated with relevant information