State education minister Mr Partha Chatterjee on Tuesday lashed out at a professor of Rajabazar Science College campus of Calcutta University for “politicising” the incident of his being heckled by student leaders of the ruling party. The head of the department( Hod) of the chemical engineering department, Bhaskar Das was reportedly “slapped”, “ threatened” and “abused” by students belonging to Trinamul Chatra Parisad( TMCP).
Police complaint was lodged and the accused Gaurab Dutta Mustafi was detained by the police. The minister on Tuesday expressed his annoyance at professor Das for not reporting the incident to the higher education department and the university immediately but using political platforms to speak against the attack.
In the same breath the minister also condemned the action of the student leaders for abusing the professor. “Is it justified for a teacher to approach this issue politically,” the minister asked. “The professor could have approached the higher education department and the university if he wanted to protest the action of the students and demand punishment for their actions.
Rather he took to political platform and this cannot be supported,” the minister said. The left backed teachers organisation immediately lend their support to the professor condemning the action of the students.
The teacher lodged a police complaint as well, which TMCP members claimed was done under the provocation of Calcutta University Teachers Association( CUTA). Infact, CPI-M leader Sujan Chakraborty, went to visit the professor. While TMCP students claimed that though an altercation did occur they had not slapped the professor.
Earlier this week, a video footage too surfaced where Gaurab Mustafi, is seen heckling the professor repeatedly. Another Left-backed teachers organisation West Bengal College and University Teachers Association( WBCUTA), meanwhile, has scheduled a sitting demonstration outside the university tomorrow in protest of the attack on the professor.
The minister, however, condemned the action of the students as well. “We are very strict when it comes to such actions by the students against teachers. If the students committed the act of heckling the teachers they are very wrong. We will not tolerate such actions.
Be it teachers or non-teaching staff, students have no right to insult them,” the minister said. The minister, sources said, had called him and asked the professor to meet him on 16 February. Professor Das on his part denied that he is trying to ‘politicise’ the attack on him.
“ The minister did call me and asked me to not speak before the Syndicate meeting resolves the issue. “ I can be associated with tecahers union. I am not associated with any TMCbacked union that does not mean I am playing politics in this issue. “His implication is that unions associated with TMC is justified and others are not. This is bizarre,” professor Das said. CU will convene a Syndicate meeting on 16 February where this issue will be brought up.