Live: TMC, CPM cadre clash at Presidency University
The Trinamool Congress supporters reportedly ransacked labs at the Presidency University in Kolkata.
New Delhi: 3:20 pm: Even as the TMC and the Left leaders appealed for calm, there were reports of violence. TMC and CPM supporters clashed in the Presidency University in Kolkata and a few students were reportedly injured in the clashed. TMC supporters reportedly ransacked labs at the Presidency University.
2:10 pm: Trinamool Congress leader Derek O'Brien has called the attack on Mamata Banerjee and Amit Mitra a 'pre-planned' one. Speaking to CNN-IBN, Derek said, "There is no question of political exploitation. The pictures said it all. This was a pre-planned attack by CPM. The real game is being played by the Left. They realise that Bengal is on the path of progress and so they are spreading rumours."
He also said that TMC will hold silent and peaceful protests against the attack. "At 4 pm across Bengal, the TMC will take out processions that will be silent and peaceful. Protesters will be wearing black scarf," Derek said.
1:10 pm: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has said she will fly back to Kolkata on Wednesday itself and has cancelled all her meetings in Delhi. She said she was advised by doctors to get hospitalised but she did not want to be hospitalised. "I was given oxygen whole night on Tuesday, the doctor advised me to get hospitalised, but I don't like to get hospitalised," Mamata said.
Mamata also said Delhi is unsafe and that she "was manhandled like anything." She lashed out at the CPM for the attack on her and her Finance Minister Amit Mitra. "Our cadre are peaceful, all ruckus was created by the CPM. It's a double standard game of CPM, they are hypocrites."
She also alleged that the police did not co-operate on Tuesday outside the Planning Commission office. "I think this is the first time such a thing has happened in New Delhi. I was also manhandled like anything. I requested the police to open the doors but they said that they don't have the keys," Mamata said.
She also apologised to the Prime Minister for cancelling her meeting with him.
12:35 pm: West Bengal Governor MK Narayanan has condemned the attack on Mamata Banerjee and Amit Mitra calling it a blot on India's democratic values. "This kind of attack on a democratically elected chief minister, the finance minister and their cabinet colleagues is unprecedented in India's modern history and is serious enough to warrant a public apology by the Politburo of CPI (M)," he said.
11:39 am: The Trinamool Congress held a protest at the Jantar Mantar in Delhi against the heckling of Mamata Banerjee and Amit Mitra. TMC leader Mukul Roy was present at the protest venue.
The TMC also held protests in West Bengal. National Highway 2 was blocked for one hour and TMC leaders also staged a rail blockade at the Sealdah Basirhat line.
11:06 am: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has cancelled her meeting with Finance Minister P Chidambaram and will return to Kolkata on Wednesday, according to sources, Sources say Mamata has also cancelled her press conference in Delhi that was scheduled for 5 pm.
11:00 am: The Trinamool Congress's students wing held protests in Kolkata on Wednesday morning against the heckling of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. Leaders of both the TMC and the CPM are now appealing for calm.
10:30 am: CPI leader D Raja condemned the misbehaviour of suspected SFI activists with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and the state Finance Minister AMit Mitra. "The manhandling or misbehaviour with the West Bengal CM and FM should not have taken place. We do not approve of such things. Having said that, I must appeal to all political parties in Bengal to maintain restraint," D Raja said.
10:05 am: The stand-off between the Trinamool Congress and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) continues as the leaders of both parties appealed for calm a day after West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Finance Minister Amit Mitra were heckled by Students Federation of India activists in Delhi.
Sources say Mamata Banerjee has instructed TMC cadre not to get provoked by CPM. She has ordered that there will be no sloganeering or violent protests in Delhi. In Delhi, anticipating further trouble, security has been increased outside both the TMC and CPM offices. Left workers have also gathered at the CPM headquarters, fearing retaliation by TMC cadre.
Students Federation of India activists manhandled State Finance Minster Amit Mitra outside the Planning Commission. While West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was angered by the incident, Trinamool Congress workers went on a rampage in Kolkata and plan a statewide protest on Wednesday even as the CPM has condemned the violence of its student affiliate body.
Mamata Banerjee cancelled her meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh following the incident.
On Tuesday, Amit Mitra was manhandled by SFI activists protesting against Sudipto Gupta's death. Mamata was livid. As the protesters chanted "Mamata Banerjee hai hai (Mamata down down), TMC hai hai, Hatyari Mamata sharm karo (have shame, killer Mamata)", an agitated Chief Minister walked into the building shouting, "This is uncivilised behaviour".
"You know why they are protesting. I have 10 lakh people with me. I can bring them to Delhi. They don't want development of West Bengal," she said. Irked by the scene that unfolded outside, she complained to Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia, "You have created a new precedent. My minister was assaulted. This is scandalous. There were 20 hooligans. Can you stop development of a state like this?" Mamata said.
"We were not allowed to enter the Planning Commission. The Left will never come back in West Bengal. It's dirty politics," a furious Mamata added.
Mamata later branded the protests as "mere hooliganism". "This is mere hooliganism. This is not protest. I could have been killed. This is the situation outside Planning Commission in New Delhi. Where's the security?" Mamata said, in a veiled attack on Ahluwalia, who later apologised for the violence. "We have tendered an apology, although the fault is not ours," he said.
Her party workers back home went on a rampage. Left activists were attacked and their offices were vandalised. Trinamool leaders were soon appealing for calm and the Left, too, joined in.
West Bengal Industries Minister Partha Chatterjee said, "I know you are angry but we must be calm and not shame our leader." Left leader Biman Bose said, "I appeal to everyone not be provoked."
The Left Front has called for an emergency meeting on Wednesday while the Trinamool workers wearing black bands will hit the streets protesting the attack on their leaders. The SFI, which was on the offensive following its cadre Sudipto Gupta's death just last week, now stands isolated with CPM top leaders condemning the incident.
An FIR has been lodged against the SFI activists. Amit Mitra and Mamata Banerjee have been given medical attention.
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