VU panel to probe Dasgupta’s confinement, student clashes

Kolkata, Jan 17 (IANS) The Visva-Bharati University on Friday formed a three-member committee, headed by Calcutta High Court’s former Chief Justice Jyotirmoy Bhattacharya, to look into the recent incidents of confinement of Rajya Sabha member Swapan Dasgupta and the clashes between students in the campus.

Meanwhile, the Left students brought out a rally protesting against the alleged attack on them on Wednesday night.

VU Executive Council members Dulalchandra Ghosh and Manjumohan Mukherjee are the other members of the probe committee which has been asked to furnish its report to Vice Chancellor Bidyut Chakraborty within a month.

“The panel has been asked to look into the two recent incidents of unrest in the campus – the long confinement of RS member Swapan Dasgupta on January 8 and alleged clash and scuffle between two groups of university students on January 15,” a VU official said.

“We hope to find out who all were involved in the two incidents. And then proper steps will be taken,” the official said.

Dasgupta, on a visit to the varsity to deliver a lecture on the new citizenship law, was confined by CPI-M-affiliated Students Federation of India activists for close to six hours inside a locked room of the varsity.

Dasgupta, Vice Chancellor Chakraborty, other varsity officials as well as BJP leader Dudhkumar Mondal were released from the Social Work department at Sreeniketan, a little distance away from the main campus at Santiniketan late into the night by the protesting students.

On January 15, two students having allegiance to the Left students unions of the varsity were allegedly beaten up on Wednesday night with wooden rods, following which two arrests were made on Thursday.

Th two students accused of violence — Achintya Bagdi and Sabir Ali — have been sent to ten days police custody after the Wednesday night attack, even as an SFI leader alleged that the perpetrators were outsiders, owing loyalties to the RSS-affiliated Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad.

SFI state secretary Srijan Bhattacharya said the two accused were earlier with the TMCP, but recently joined the BJP.

“The attackers were saying why we had supported the strike on January 8, and why were we opposing the NRC-CAA and the policies of the BJP RSS,” said another Leftist students union leader.

But the political identity of the attackers remained complicated amidst reports that the two accused claimed they belonged to the Trinamool Chattra Parishad (TMCP).

Meanwhile, the university’s Leftist student unions brought out a protest rally in the campus on Friday demanding arrest of alleged third attacker Sulobh Karmakar in connection with Wednesday’s violence.

VU students, professors and alumni took part in the rally that started off from the prayer room (“upasana griho”) of the varsity.

“We have taken out this rally in protest against the barbaric attack on students and to ensure their security,” said Falguni Pan, one of the two students injured in Wednesday’s attack.



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