Calcutta University teachers allege assault; minister seeks report

Kolkata, July 1 (IANS) Calcutta University vice chancellor Suranjan Das and some teachers were on Wednesday manhandled by supporters of West Bengal’s ruling Trinamool Congress students’ wing, a section of teachers alleged. The students’ wing denied the charges, while the state’s education minister sought a report on the matter.

Claiming that Das has denied the assault, Education Minister Partha Chatterjee said he has sought a report on the matter from the vice chancellor.

The Trinamool Congress Chhatra Parishad (TMCP) also denied the charges.

The alleged incident took place during an agitation by a section of teachers and other university employees against the suspension of finance officer Harisadhan Ghosh over allegations of corruption.

The agitation was backed by the Left-affiliated West Bengal College and University Teachers’ Association (WBCUTA).

According to WBCUTA general secretary Srutinath Praharaj, the attackers “jumped” on the vice chancellor who had rushed to the spot in the campus when teachers and staff members were being attacked.

“It is obvious that they are supported by the ruling party. They were not students of the university. The teachers were carrying out their agitation in Darbhanga Hall when the outsiders attacked them and also manhandled the vice chancellor,” Praharaj said.

Claiming that the assailants were members of the TMCP, some teachers alleged that they pushed and shoved around and even women faculty members were not spared.

Education Minister Chatterjee claimed Das denied being assaulted.

“The vice chancellor told me nobody assaulted him and no such incident happened. I have sought a report of the whole incident from him,” Chatterjee said.

The minister said the administration will not tolerate disturbances at educational institutions.

Denying the involvement of their activists, TMCP state president Ashok Rudra assured action if involvement of Trinamool activists was found.

The WBCUTA said it will stage protest marches on Thursday across the state.

The alleged assault was condemned by eminent personalities.

“The incident is a shameful example of the serial deterioration of the state’s education system,” said noted poet Sankha Ghosh.

Last month, a group of Aliah University students and TMCP activists vandalised the university premises after the rejection of their demand for granting them pass marks in a “tough” exam, its vice chancellor had said.

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