Trinamool legislator arrested for campus violence

Kolkata, Sep 14 (IANS) A legislator of West Bengal’s ruling Trinamool Congress was arrested on Monday on the orders of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee over his alleged involvement in campus violence.

Dipak Haldar, the legislator from Diamond Harbour in South 24 Parganas district, was arrested following a clash between Trinamool activists at the Fakir Chand College.

Video footage broadcast by TV channels showed Haldar threatening police, as his followers clashed with fellow party activists backed by block president Umapada Purkait.

Strongly condemning Haldar’s act, state Education Minister Partha Chatterjee said the administration immediately ordered the arrest of the legislator along with all those involved in the incident.

“I don’t have words to condemn the incident. Educational institutions are a domain of students and teachers and not hooligans. The chief minister was immediately informed about the incident and the administration was instructed to arrest Haldar and all others involved,” said Chatterjee.

“Whatever happened at the Fakir Chand College is highly condemnable. Any kind of violence in education campuses will not be tolerated,” he added.

While Purakait accused Haldar of instigating violence, the legislator denied his involvement in the incident which left injured at least 15 activists of the Trinamool Chhatra Parishad (TMCP), the students’ wing of the Trinamool.

“I was not involved in the incident, rather I was trying to pacify them. I was trying to prevent the clash,” said Haldar.

Purkait said that since Monday morning, “Haldar has been instigating his people for violence. Police acted as mere spectators as his men went on a rampage vandalizing the college union office and mercilessly attacking TMCP activists”.

Several incidents of campus violence have been reported in the last few months from across the state. In August, Krishna Prasad Jana, a student of Sabang Sajanikanta Mahavidyalaya in West Midnapore was lynched during one such clash.

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