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Days After JNU Violence, Clashes Break Out in Visva Bharati University in West Bengal

Trouble started at around 8 pm on Wednesday night when a group of university students and alleged ABVP supporters went to Vidya Bhawan Hostel to look for a student named Ansuk Mukherjee.

Sujit Nath | News18.com

Updated:January 16, 2020, 2:49 PM IST
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Days After JNU Violence, Clashes Break Out in Visva Bharati University in West Bengal
File Photo of Visva Bharati University, in Shantiniketan, West Bengal. (Image: Visva Bharati official website.)

Kolkata: Ten days after a mob of masked young people stormed the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) campus and attacked students and teachers, supporters of Students’ Federation of India (SFI) at Visva Bharati University in West Bengal were allegedly beaten up by ABVP activists on Wednesday night.

Several SFI leaders got injured in the attack and are presently admitted at Pearson Memorial Hospital in Bolpur. Swapnil Mukherjee and Subhra Nath are among those being treated for their injuries and Phalguni Pal, Debdutta and Amit were discharged after treatment.

Trouble started at around 8 pm on Wednesday night when a group of university students and alleged ABVP supporters went to Vidya Bhawan Hostel to look for a student named Ansuk Mukherjee.

Ansuk was not present in the hostel at that time and his roommate was allegedly threatened by the activists for participating in a protest against a lecture series over Citizenship Amendment Act on January 8. The Protest was held against BJP MP Swapan Dasgupta who had gone to the university to deliver a lecture on the contentious law.

Around 10pm on Wednesday, when Ansuk along with Subhra Nath and Swapnil Mukherjee returned to their hostel, the alleged ABVP supporters intercepted them and got into a scuffle.

Somnath Shaw, SFI’s Burbhum district secretariat member, told News18, “The ABVP supporters attacked Visva Bharati University students for participating in a protest against BJP MP Swapan Dasgupta. They were beaten up with wooden planks and rods. We strongly condemn this act of hooliganism. They didn’t spare an educational institute that was founded by Rabindra Nath Tagore.”

Shaw said two attackers has been identified. “We have identified one student of our university as Achintya Bagdi. Another is a former Visva Bharati student named Sabir Ali. They are ABVP supporters and we demand legal action against them.”

When contacted, BJP state president Dilip Ghosh, said, “Those who attacked were Trinamool Chhatra Parishad supporters and not ABVP workers. The allegation is totally false.”

Visva-Bharati University Faculty Association (VBUFA), President, Sudipta Bhattacharyya, said, “This is very unfortunate and we strongly condemn this incident. We demand strict action against those who are involved in this shameful act.”

On Thursday, a large number of SFI supporters gathered in front of central gate of the varsity to participate in a protest meet. They said they are receiving anonymous death threats via phone calls ever since Dasgupta left the varsity premises on January 8.

Visva Bharati, vice-chancellor Bidyut Chakraborty was not available for his comment.

Located at Santiniketan, Visva Bharati University was founded by Rabindranath Tagore who called it Visva-Bharati, which means the communion of the world with India.

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