Tension ran high at Sulekha More this evening as three rallies organised by the students of Jadavpur University, CPI (M) and BJP were on a collision course. A large police contingent deployed at the spot had a tough time to prevent these rallies from clashing. Some BJP activists reportedly burnt tyres and blocked roads after the police put up a barricade. At the same time, the students started a sit-in demonstration after they were allegedly lathi-charged by the police.
Traffic was thrown out of gear in the area as chaos broke out on the streets. Students and teachers of Jadavpur University had organised protest meeting today while Presidency University students took out a rally in protest against the violent attack on students and teachers of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) on Sunday night by unidentified miscreants and vandalism inside its campus. Members of Students Federation of India (SFI) and All India Students’ Association (AISA) took out a protest march from the Jadavpur University campus to nearby 8B bus stand.
Shouting slogans against the BJP-led Central government and Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the protesting students demanded immediate arrest of the miscreants involved in the incident. “Yesterday was the darkest day in Indian democracy because of what happened inside the JNU campus. Beating up of students and teachers by goons and attacking girls’ hostel by ABVP activists brought shame to our democracy. But, such attacks will not deter us from continuing our fight against fascist forces,” a JU student who participated in the protest march said.
Referring to the Jadavpur University fracas on 19 September in which Union minister Babul Supriyo was stranded for hours, he said, “The way the ABVP workers had vandalised the campus in September and JNU campus yesterday reflects the fascist mindset of the BJP and the Sangh Parivar.” Condemning the attack on the students inside the JNU campus, Arts Faculty Students Union (AFSU) general secretary Debraj Debnath said, “We need to unite against the fascist forces and resist them. The students of JNU have always raised their voices against the fascist agenda of ABVP and BJP. The whole country is burning because of the BJP. And we stand by the students of JNU.”
Students of the Presidency University took out a rally on College Street expressing solidarity with the JNU students. “We condemn such violence inside the JNU campus, which is a cradle of free and liberal thinking. The ABVP and BJP want to curb free thought and want to impose their fascist ideology on us. But we will continue our fight till the last breath,” a university student said. Chhatra Parishad, the student wing of Congress, burnt effigies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union home minister Amit Shah on College Street.
“We are astonished and horrified at the violence unleashed against students and teachers of the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) by masked miscreants with impunity inside the university, including inside hostels. The JUTA calls upon all sections of society, especially students and teachers, to condemn this act,” said Jadavpur University Teachers’ Association (JUTA) general secretary Partha Pratim Ray.
Strongly condemning the entire incident, ABUTA general secretary Goutam Maity said, “We condemn the brutal attack on JNU students and teachers by political goons wearing masks. Such an attack is an attempt to destroy democratic movement in the country, we believe. We exemplary punishment for the attackers involved.”