Saturday, September 19, 2020
Home News Reports Visva Bharati University shuts down, seeks central forces for security after clashes over construction...

Visva Bharati University shuts down, seeks central forces for security after clashes over construction of boundary wall on ‘Poush Mela ground’

On Monday morning, around 5000 people had stormed into the Poush Mela ground, demolished the iron gate, damaged the construction materials, and vandalised a pandal. The unruly mob also destroyed the temporary Visha Bharati office that was built near the ground.

The Visva Bharati administration has reportedly decided to shut down the varsity in light of the recent protests and vandalism that took place in the wake of the construction of a boundary wall on the ‘Poush Mela’ ground.

The decision to wall ‘Poush mela’ ground

Reportedly, the Shantiniketan Trust has sanctioned an amount of ₹70 lacs as a part of the initiative of the Vishva Bharati university to build a boundary wall near the eastern side of the old ‘Poush Mela ground’. According to the varsity, it was within its rights to build a wall to prevent the ‘misuse’ of the playground. An order issued by the university read, “Visva-Bharati will demarcate the Mela ground and barricade the same so that the Mela ground will be a separate self-contained unit from the university and locality.” The undertaking further stated that the National Green Tribunal had to be reported by Wednesday whether the construction work had begun.

The University had earlier sought to cancel three-day ‘Poush Mela ‘celebrations held in the last week of December for over 125 years. The annual festival is a part of Shantineketan’s culture, as envisioned by Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore. According to the Vice-Chancellor of the varsity, the institution is ‘ill-equipped’ to conduct such festivals. Reportedly, the decision was taken without consulting the Shantiniketan trust which is responsible for conducting ‘Poush Mela.’

The controversy over the fencing

The decision of the university to fence the ‘Poush Mela’ ground received vehement opposition from students, traders, artisans, and even the Chief Minister of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee. The agitators have dubbed the move as ‘contrary to the Tagore school of thought.’ According to the State CM, the barricade would hamper the natural beauty of Shantinektan.

- Advertisement -

“The purpose of Rabindranath Tagore in setting up Visva-Bharati was to conduct academic activities, besides programmes like Basanta Utsav and Poush Mela, in the lap of nature, in the open air, under the trees, amid chirping birds…. He set up Santiniketan as an abode of peace, it wasn’t just about construction,” she was quoted as saying on Sunday.

Violence and Vandalism at Visva Bharati university

On Monday morning, around 5000 people stormed into the Poush Mela ground, demolished the iron gate, damaged the construction materials, and vandalised a pandal. The unruly mob also destroyed the temporary Visha Bharati office that was built near the ground. In viral videos, locals and traders can be seen destroying property as a ‘mark’ of protest. The miscreants also took control of a JCB machine to destroy existing constructed structures.

Earlier on Saturday, the varsity officials had informed that a clash broke out between the ‘protestors’ and the contractors, resulting in the latter being brutally thrashed by traders from Bolpur. Reportedly, the administration of the University used staff, teachers, and several ‘BJP workers’ as ‘human shields’ to ward off violent protestors from causing damage to the construction site. This led to a political slugfest between the BJP and the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC).

Meanwhile, an advocate by the name of Sailen Mishra had filed a complaint against the Vice Chancellor of the varsity Bidyut Chakrabarty for ‘violating’ Coronavirus guidelines through planned ‘mass gathering’.

Varsity shuts down, requests intervention of law enforcement authorities

In the wake of vandalism and violent protests, the Visva Bharati administration announced that the university will remain shut until the situation improved. The varsity has written a letter to the District Magistrate seeking imposition of IPC Section 144 in the campus to prevent ‘unlawful assembly.’ Moreover, the administration has also written to the Centre asking for deployment of central security forces to contain the law and order situation within the campus.

Meanwhile, Mamata Banerjee has urged the District magistrate to hold a meeting between the Vice-Chancellor and the students to resolve the issue ‘peacefully.’ While the BJP leaders in Birbhum have claimed that the TMC had supported the vandalism in a bid to defame the varsity, the ruling dispensation has accused the BJP of trying to ‘saffronise’ the renowned university.

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

Related Articles

Trending now

HRCE Dept uses the ‘we are doing what Kings did’ argument, claims ‘secular’ state of Tamil Nadu entitled to control temples

HR&CE Dept has filed an affidavit at the Madras HC saying that though the state of Tamil Nadu is secular, it is entitled to control temples.

‘No right to question integrity of successors’: 26 former cops slam Julio Ribeiro for supporting people pushing ‘anti-India and communal narrative’

26 former police officers have written a letter slamming Julio Ribeiro for supporting people who push 'anti-India and communal narrative'.

In an ironical turn of events, BMC calls Kangana Ranaut’s plea an ‘abuse of law’ after hounding her for dissenting views

In an affidavit, BMC has also demanded that costs be imposed on Kangana Ranaut for making this plea and demanding Rs 2 crores damages

Delhi Police arrests journalist Rajeev Sharma for possessing classified defence documents, had written for Chinese mouthpiece GlobalTimes

Rajeev Sharma had written several columns for Chinese newspaper Global Times, the mouthpiece of Communist Party of China for the last several years.

Bloomberg Quint calls an economist an ‘infectious disease expert’ to peddle the theory that a high recovery rate is a ‘useless statistic’

The Quint earlier transformed an engineer to a doctor to prove that India is in the middle of community transmission stage

Julio Ribeiro and Open Letters, a love story better than Twilight: Here are some letters that the former IPS officer has signed

Former IPS Officer Julio Ribeiro has recently written to the Delhi Police complaining of their 'flawed investigation' into Delhi Riots.

Recently Popular

Nepal claims Indian cities Dehradun, Nainital under its ‘Greater Nepal’ campaign: Reports

The tension between Indian and its Himalayan neighbour Nepal is likely to mount again as Nepal continues to provoke India.

Here is why #BabyPenguin is trending on Twitter, and why Aaditya Thackeray is called so by some

Yuva Sena registered complaint against twitter user for calling Aaditya Thackeray "Baby Penguin" and Uddhav Thackeray "Aurangzeb"

“You are supposed to be unprejudiced,” investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala schools BJP-hater NDTV journalist Sreenivasan Jain

Without nothing left to say, Sreenivasan Jain laughed aloud and claimed, "I would love to think that I am unprejudiced."

From Ranbir Kapoor to Sanjay Dutt to Gauri Khan: The celebrities who flew ‘high’ and have battled drug addiction

Many Bollywood celebrities have confessed they had a drug problem at some point in their lives, some even went to jail for the same

Begusarai: Mohammad Maufiz used to rape his eldest minor daughter, sexually exploited other two minor daughters

Mohammad Maufiz in Begulsarai arrested after it was known that he is raping his eldest daughter for 5 years, molested two other daughters

Here is criticism of ‘a particular community’ as approved by the Honourable Supreme Court

The Supreme Court has not taken kindly to a show by Sudarshan News, criticising a 'particular community'

Sandalwood drug case: Bengaluru crime branch summons to former Congress corporator for questioning

Bengaluru Central Crime Branch (CCB) summons former Congress corporator RV Yuvraj in connection with the sandalwood drug case

An eyewitness tells media that Disha Salian was gang-raped by 4 men in the party held on the eve of her death: Here are...

An eyewitness has told News Nation that Disha Salian was gang-raped by 4 men in the party which she attended on the eve of her death on June 8.

HRCE Dept uses the ‘we are doing what Kings did’ argument, claims ‘secular’ state of Tamil Nadu entitled to control temples

HR&CE Dept has filed an affidavit at the Madras HC saying that though the state of Tamil Nadu is secular, it is entitled to control temples.

Temple takeover issue: Uttarakhand govt bans protests within 200 meters of Kedarnath, priests say they won’t budge

Since June, the priests at Kedarnath Dham are protesting against the formation of Char Dham Devasthanam Management Board.

‘No right to question integrity of successors’: 26 former cops slam Julio Ribeiro for supporting people pushing ‘anti-India and communal narrative’

26 former police officers have written a letter slamming Julio Ribeiro for supporting people who push 'anti-India and communal narrative'.

In an ironical turn of events, BMC calls Kangana Ranaut’s plea an ‘abuse of law’ after hounding her for dissenting views

In an affidavit, BMC has also demanded that costs be imposed on Kangana Ranaut for making this plea and demanding Rs 2 crores damages

West Bengal and Kerala come under scanner as NIA arrests 9 Al-Qaeda terrorists, were planning multiple attacks

The National Investigation Agency arrested eight terrorists linked to Al-Qaeda from Murshidabad in West Bengal and three from Ernakulam in Kerala.

Delhi Police arrests journalist Rajeev Sharma for possessing classified defence documents, had written for Chinese mouthpiece GlobalTimes

Rajeev Sharma had written several columns for Chinese newspaper Global Times, the mouthpiece of Communist Party of China for the last several years.

Bloomberg Quint calls an economist an ‘infectious disease expert’ to peddle the theory that a high recovery rate is a ‘useless statistic’

The Quint earlier transformed an engineer to a doctor to prove that India is in the middle of community transmission stage

Minister Anurag Thakur apologises after ruckus breaks out in Parliament over his comments on the Nehru-Gandhi family

Anurag Thakur had slammed the Congress party over the PM Relief Fund during a discussion on PM CARES Fund

Connect with us

243,917FansLike
453,209FollowersFollow
15,900SubscribersSubscribe