Kolkata : Political temperatures shot up in the metropolis on Friday as political activists and students hit the streets, a day after Union Minister Babul Supriyo was heckled and assaulted by radical Left students in Jadavpur University for hours, following which ABVP workers went on a rampage and vandalised a students union room.
The radical Left students took out a three-kilometer long march from the university campus to Gol Park protesting against ABVP’s “vandalism” and the manner in which the Union Minister “provoked” students on Thursday.
Students from the varsity’s arts, engineering and science faculties took part in the march.
They alleged that on Thursday, Supriyo made sexist remarks and “went on provoking us”.
The students representing radical Left associations and the CPI-M affiliated Students Federation of India (SFI) had originally planned to shout “go back” slogans and show black flags to the Union Minister, but things got out of hand when Supriyo pushed some students, they said.
The students said they were “worried” over their security and “deeply pained” by the vandalism let loose by the ABVP on Thursday evening.
“The SFI’s union room has been vandalised, and the furniture, ceiling fan, and computers smashed. The wall of the room has also been defaced. They also beat up a shop keeper with rods and sticks and threw stones at us,” said a student taking part in the march.
The SFI organised a protest rally from Dhakuria to the university campus – a distance of about two kilometres – in solidarity with university students and for resisting “fascist hooliganism in the campus”.
“One Union Minister came to the campus and provoked and incited the students. The BJP’s hooligans damaged the union room. They carried BJP and ABVP flags, acid bulbs, bamboo poles and rods. They beat up people,” said SFI leader Samanyay Raha.
The ABVP, on the other hand, held a sit-in at the base of Mahatma Gandhi’s statue in central Kolkata’s Dorina Crossing demanding the resignation of the university Vice Chancellor and arrest of all those who assaulted Supriyo.
“We will continue the sit-in till our demands are met,” said an ABVP activist.
Denying that their activists had vandalised the union room or beaten up anybody, an ABVP member alleged that that the Leftist student activists themselves did the act to put the blame on his organisation.
Meanwhile, the BJP brought out a rally from its headquarters at Muralidhar Sen Lane. Party’s state General Secretaries Sayantan Basu and Raju Bandopadhyay led the rally.