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'Want to See End of This Battle': Bengal Prof Thrashed for Saving Students from TMC Supporters Refuses to Relent

Subrata Chatterjee was assaulted after he tried to protect women post-graduate students from TMC supporters who demanded that they raise slogans such as ‘Mamata Banerjee zindabad’ and 'TMC zindabad'.

Sujit Nath | News18

Updated:July 25, 2019, 5:18 PM IST
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'Want to See End of This Battle': Bengal Prof Thrashed for Saving Students from TMC Supporters Refuses to Relent
A screen grab of the incident shows the professor being attacked by TMC supporters. (Image: Twitter)

Kolkata: Two former students of Nabgram Hiralal Paul College at Konnagar in West Bengal’s Hooghly district were arrested for thrashing a professor after he tried to protect women post-graduate students from a group of ruling party supporters who forced them to chant ‘Mamata Banerjee zindabad’. The arrested duo was identified as Sandip Pal and Bijoy Sarkar.

Narrating his ordeal to News18, professor Subrata Chatterjee — who teaches Bengali to post-graduate students at the college — said the incident was not only shameful but also painful.

“On Wednesday, a group of post-graduate women students had a heated argument with some undergraduate students who are TMC’s college unit members and leaders. The post-graduate students were locked up in a room and there was absolute chaos. One of my students was slapped but after the intervention of college staff, the matter was resolved. After some time, a section of outsiders was brought in and they tried to worsen the situation. They not only demanded an apology from the post-graduate students but also asked them to raise slogans such as ‘Mamata Banerjee Zindabad’ and ‘TMC Zindabad’.”

He added, “The students refused to raise the slogans and the situation took a turn for the worse. I informed the college principal and when I came outside, a group of former college students assaulted me. The women students tried to rescue me but the outsiders roughed them up too.”

Chatterjee said the outsiders were former college students who are now affiliated to the TMC. “They did not even clear their final examination. They never attended college on a regular basis. At present, they are associated with Mamata Banerjee’s party and forcibly enter our college every day.”

Elaborating on the issue, he said: “There is no elected union in our college. For the last two years, no student’s union election was held here. Members of the Trinamool Congress forcibly enter our college every day and create nuisance. They misbehave with us and abuse us. They are vitiating the college atmosphere and no one cares. Enough is enough. I am not going to bow down and I am ready to face any consequences. I am not scared and I will not resign.”

Chatterjee said the incident had pained him as he could not imagine that students could assault a teacher. “In which world are we living? Both my wife and daughter are in a state of shock. We will survive on salt and rice but not bow down. I want to see the end of this battle.”

Principal Srikanta Samanta said two former BA students of the 2015-16 batch were arrested after the incident. Condemning it, he said all those responsible for the shameful act must be arrested immediately. “The million dollar question is how former students enter our college and commit such a crime.”

While hinting at the involvement of local TMC Councilor Tanmoy Deb, Samanta said, “He is the main man behind instigating outsiders to attack our professor. I don’t want to disclose his name, otherwise he will lose his job (of a councilor). Let the people concerned take action against him. We want stern action against the accused and they should not get bail.”

Some college students alleged that ever since the BJP managed to set foot in Hooghly, TMC members were leaving no stone unturned to tighten their hold over colleges in the district.

“For the last two years, no students’ union election was held in our college. Most likely, next year the election will be held and therefore TMC outsiders are forcibly trying to maintain their presence in college,” a second-year student said.

The TMC, on its part, condemned the incident. TMC state unit president Trinankur Bhattacharya said, “We are identifying those involved in the act and we will take adequate action on behalf of the organisation. We condemn this incident.” Convener of the intellectual cell of Bengal’s BJP unit too expressed his anguish.

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