Kolkata, Sep 28 (PTI) Over a month after protests and vandalism by a mob over the fencing around the famed Poush Mela ground at Santiniketan, Visva-Bharati University authorities on Monday started work on it.
A member of the 'Karma Samiti' or the executive council of the central university, which is its highest decision making body, told PTI that the fencing work began after the Calcutta High Court-appointed committee gave the go ahead to the university in this regard.
'We are putting up an about three feet-high boundary wall over which there will be barbed wire fencing. The court committee gave consent to the move,' the executive council member said.
'There will be several gates and round the clock surveillance. This is needed to demarcate the area (Poush mela ground) and prevent encroachment,' he said.
Ashramite and Tagore family descendant Supriyo Tagore said, 'If they (HC committee) think it is needed, let the work continue.' The fencing has been opposed by Melar Math Banchao Committee (Save Fair Ground Committee). Its spokesman said, 'The Visva-Bharati authorities could not produce any written official order of the court-appointed committee. We may move court.' Poush Mela is an annual cutural event being held for over a century.
Work began for the fencing work after the four-member committee appointed by the high court inspected the Poush Mela ground on September 27 for the second time and met the university authorities and the stakeholders, including students, businessmen and ashramites.
Visva-Bharati authorities in a statement said they have urged police and administration to take preemptive steps to avoid recurrence of the August 17 incident when a mob during protest over erection of a boundary wall vandalised the university property and tore down a heritage gate.
Claiming that loud speakers were used on Monday to campaign against the fencing by those opposed to it, the Visva-Bharati authorities urged the administration to take all steps to prevent any trouble.
The authorities claimed that such a campaign against boundary fencing defied the decision of the court appointed committee.
The HC appointed committee comprises of two sitting judges of Calcutta High Court. PTI SUS KK KK