Visva-Bharati forms probe panel, sparks Left protest

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Swapan Dasgupta was confined on Visva-Bharati campus on January 8

The Visva-Bharati University on Friday set up a three-member inquiry committee to look into the incident, in which BJP leader and Rajya Sabha member Swapan Dasgupta was confined in a room for several hours when he visited the campus on January 8 to deliver a lecture on the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). The panel will also look into the alleged clash between two groups of students at the university on January 15.

An official of the university said, “We have formed a three-member inquiry committee to look into the matter where BJP leader Swapan Dasgupta had said he was locked inside a room with a mob outside, at the university, where he was addressing a meeting on Citizenship Amendment Act on January 8. The committee will submit its report to the vice-chancellor within a month. It will also look into the alleged clash between two groups of student on January 15.”

The committee comprises former Calcutta High Court Chief Justice Jyotirmay Bhattacharya and Visva-Bharati executive council members Dulal Chandra Ghosh and Manju Mohan Mukherjee.

However, hours after the committee was formed, students aligned to Left parties took out a protest march in front of the central office of the university, demanding that the assault on students be probed first.

“There is no need to inquire into confinement of Dasgupta. The university should first form a panel to look into the assault on students, who are its assets. Dasgupta may be an MP, but he is an outsider. Why is the V-C so bothered about a BJP MP?” a protester said.

The decision to set up the panel comes close on the heels of the arrest of two persons after two Visva-Bharati University students, belonging to the Left-affiliated SFI, were allegedly beaten up with sticks by a group of men on Wednesday.

Those arrested have been identified as Achintya Bagdi and Sabbir Ali. Police are looking for the third accused, Sulabh Karmakar, named in the FIR.

While the injured SFI students, Swapnaneel Mukhopadhyay and Falguni Khan, alleged that the attackers belonged to the students’ wing of RSS, Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the ABVP denied any involvement in the incident.

The injured students have alleged that the “ABVP members” had assaulted them for protesting against BJP MP Swapan Dasgupta on January 8. However, the ABVP said Bagdi and Ali were not associated with them.

With PTI inputs