Kolkata, Feb 18 (IANS) At least 200 ABVP workers and BJP leaders including actress Roopa Ganguly were stopped from entering Jadavpur University here on Thursday by police and a section of professors and students who formed a human chain to block the right-wing activists.
Amid intense sloganeering and waving of the tricolour as well as party flags, the ABVP activists took out a protest march from Golpark in south Kolkata to the university about three km away.
The rally, held in protest against the “anti-India slogans by Leftist students unions” was stopped about 150 metres from the university by police to prevent any untoward incident.
Holding aloft posters labelling the Leftists as “desh drohi” (traitors), slogans of “Make our campuses free of desh drohi Leftist student unions” and “Jis ghar se Afzal niklega, us ghar mein ghus ke marengey” echoed through the area.
The Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) rally was fronted by a huge banner urging people to protest against the “Communist traitors”.
Another banner called for creating a “Communist-free campus and terrorism-free India”.
“We won’t allow any anti-national activities and anti-India slogans in educational institutions,” said Bengali actress Locket Chattopadhyay, who was denied entry along with another actress-leader Roopa Ganguly.
Despite the barricades and heavy police presence, some supporters managed to sneak past, but were prevented from making any headway by a second ring of police.
At the other end, a human chain of professors and students of Jadavpur University put up a united front opposing the entry of the ABVP activists.
Tempers soared in the university and adjacent areas, as students’ unions of the three faculties of the university — science, arts and engineering — called a rally on the campus, slamming the ABVP for engaging in “vandalism” by tearing posters on Tuesday.
“The way our campus was vandalised on Tuesday is unprecedented. This is not the culture of the university. We have to stand up against saffron terror and the fascism that is being brought down on the country by the Narendra Modi government in Delhi,” said a student taking part in the rally called by the Leftist students’ unions.
Amid slogans of “Pichu hotche RSS (RSS is going back) and “The people united shall always be victorious”, the students went round the campus for hours.
“They are not our students and we don’t want them inside the campus because they are creating issues,” said a student, who was part of the human chain.
Jadavpur University has been on the boil over the past two days when pro-Afzal Guru slogans were heard and posters put up “seeking independence” for Kashmir and demanding “freedom” for Manipur and Nagaland.
Protests were also directed against the Modi government’s handling of the Jawaharlal Nehru University row and the arrest of the students’ union president Kanhaiya Kumar.
Jadavpur vice chancellor Suranjan Das dismissed Tuesday’s slogans eulogising Parliament House attack mastermind Afzal Guru as the handiwork of “fringe elements” and ruled out any action, including calling in police. However, a police officer said the matter was being “thoroughly investigated”.
The posters appearing on Wednesday were purportedly put up by an ultra-left group which called itself “Radical”.