Kolkata, Aug 17 (IANS) West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar intervened as trouble erupted at the Visva Bharati campus on Monday.
The incident took place as a large number of people went on a rampage protesting against the construction of a boundary wall at the Pous Mela ground in West Bengal’s Birbhum district.
“I just had word with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee over Visva Bharati worsening law and order scenario. She has assured that administration will take all steps to restore the law and order. I am sure those enjoined with task will rise to the occasion,” Dhankhar tweeted.
He said that the law and order situation in Visva Bharati is alarming. ” I am trying to be in touch with CM to secure peace in temple of learning,” the Governor added.
He said that as per the vice-chancellor, violators of law have entered the campus and destroyed property.
“State chief secretary, home secretary, district magistrate and police superintendent of Birbhum district have not responded to call of Visva Bharati,” he said.
Tension erupted as the Visva Bharati authorities decided to fence off the Pous Mela ground by erecting a boundary wall and started the construction work there this morning.
About 1,000 irate locals, under the banner of Save Pous Mela Committee, barged into the fair ground, damaged university properties and vandalised temporary shelters. They were seen breaking plastic chairs and other structures that were installed there on a temporary basis. They also dismantled one of the varsity gates using a JCB pay-loader machine.
Sources said that students, alumni and local people also held a sit-in demonstration before the ‘Upasana Griho’ (Prayer hall) of the Central University protesting against the alleged attempt to prevent access of people to the iconic fair ground – a place where the annual cultural carnival is held during winter every year attracting massive footfall.
According to sources, the Visva Bharati authorities decided to scrap Pous Mela for its ‘bitter experience’ with the local traders in the last two years. There were tussles between the authorities and local traders and artisans in the past for making the latter comply with National Green Tribunal (NGT) guidelines.