RBU to JU to Presidency, Trinamool students wing at centre of raging Bengal varsity rows

Following the Rabindra Bharati University run by the Government of West Bengal (RBU) Vice President (VC) Sabyasachi Basu Ray ChoudhuryHe moved on Thursday to send his resignation to the Prime Minister and President of Trinamool Congress (TMC), Mamata Banerjee, alleging that he had been prevented from entering his office by members of Trinamool Chattra Parishad (TMCP), the student wing of the Transitional Military Council, for the span of two weeks, becoming The role and “interference” of TMCP in the affairs of state universities is under examination.

The RBU incident is the latest in a series of such classes at various public universities allegedly stoked by the TMCP.

The row in the RBU VC was followed by a clash between TMCP activists and members of SFI, the student wing of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), at the Presidency University in Kolkata on Friday. SFI accused TMCP members of allegedly assaulting their activists outside the university building, and even released a video to substantiate their allegations. On the other hand, the TMCP accused the members of the SFI and the Independent Consolidation (IC) of tearing and burning their posters and banners inside the university premises.

Four months ago, Muhammad Ali of the state-backed Alia University resigned from his position after the arrest of a former university student on charges of insulting and assaulting him. A video of the incident went viral on social media. The accused affiliated with the alleged TMCP, Jayasuddin Mondal, along with some of his followers, on April 1 entered Ali’s office and showered him with threats and abuse. He demanded the cancellation of the list of candidates for the doctoral course at the university and the inclusion of the names he recommended in a new list. After the incident video made waves, Mondal was later arrested. After the accident, Ali dropped out of Alia University and returned to Jadavpur University.

That same month, a TMCP leader at Jadavpur University (JU) was heard bragging (in an audio clip that also went viral) that he has the ability to “scare professors by grabbing their collars” if they don’t fall in line. In the alleged audio clip, the head of the JU unit at TMCP, Sanjib Pramanik, is heard saying, “Jadavpur er kon teacher er golar collar dhorte hobe? Sanjib Pramanik ke bolo, eto boro khomota rakhe Sanjib Pramanik. (Just tell me which teacher neck collar you want me to hold) Him? Just say Sanjeeb Pramanik, he has the power to do it).”

The head of the TMCP state, Trinancore Bhattacharya, condemned both RBU and the Presidency University. If such incidents occur, they must be condemned. These are unfortunate accidents that should not happen. We are looking into the RBU incident and trying to find out what really happened. At the University of the Presidency, our party posters and banners were torn and burned. However, a peaceful atmosphere should prevail on the campus,” Bhattacharya said.

Referring to the Presidency University clash, SFI State Joint Secretary Subhajit Sarkar said, “The TMCP has acquired our students from outside the Presidency campus. Those who attended are not students of the university but strangers. Once our members are out of the campus they are beaten up by TMCP members We strongly condemn this assault.” The SFI also called for a protest march on College Street near the university on Saturday to demand action against “guilty” TMCP members.

Senior BJP leader Rahul Sinha has targeted TMCP, claiming that “the TMC is only interested in interfering in the affairs of the university and looking for ways to extort money. They do not care about academics and education on campus.”

Referring to the RBU and Presidency College incidents, TMC Senior Leader Tapash Roy said, “It is unacceptable. I believe management should act on this. We cannot tolerate such incidents at universities.”

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