Attack on Visva-Bharati students: Third accused arrested in Jharkhand

Students protest outside the central office of Visva-Bharati University in West Bengal. (PTI)Visva B

The third person, accused of attacking a group of students near a boys’ hostel on Visva-Bharati University campus in Shantiniketan last week, was arrested from Jharkhand on Sunday, police said.

“Sulav Karmakar, a student of the history department of the central university, was picked up from Godda in Jharkhand in connection with the incident that left at least two students injured on January 15,” an officer of Birbhum police said.

Earlier two persons — Achintya Bagdi and Saber Ali — had been arrested for their alleged involvement in the assault on the members of Left-leaning Students’ Federation of India (SFI) on January 15.

Karmakar was the third student named in an FIR lodged in this connection.

The attack took place a week after BJP Rajya Sabha MP Swapan Dasgupta was heckled by the Left-leaning students when he came to deliver a lecture on the Citizenship (Amendment) Act on January 8.

The injured SFI members of the university had alleged that the attackers belonged to the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, the students’ wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, and that the assault was a fallout of the demonstration the Left students held during Dasgupta’s visit to the campus.

Denying the allegations, Bagdi had said that he belonged to the Trinamool Chhatra Parisahad (TMCP), which the TMC’s students’ wing had denied.

The TMCP had said that the accused were earlier its members, but had left the organisation.

Dasgupta, Visva-Bharati Vice-Chancellor Bidyut Chakraborty and others had to remain confined for over seven hours to a room of the central university, outside which hundreds of Left-leaning students staged a sit-in, accusing the politician of promoting hatred among communities.

The Visva-Bharati on Friday set up a three-member panel to probe the alleged confinement of the politician and the incident of assault.