Calcutta University’s College Street campus and Vidyasagar College virtually
turned into a battlefield when BJP supporters participating in Amit Shah’s roadshow went on a rampage inside the campus of Vidyasagar College.
When the rally reached College Street, clashes started between the Trinamool Congress supporters of Calcutta University and the BJP supporters. The situation turned worse when police caned the students who were showing black flags to the BJP rally and shouting “Amit Shah go back”.
The police, however, controlled the scuffle. The Calcutta University authorities decided to close the main gate of the campus.
“We were around 70 people and were showing black flags and shouting ‘Go Back Amit Shah’. But the BJP supporters suddenly attacked us and started hitting us randomly. They were around a thousand in number and easily overpowered us,” said state TMC vice-president Manisankar Mondal.
A similar incident took place in front of Vidyasagar College when the college students shouted “Go back Amit Shah”.
According to the students, the BJP supporters all of a sudden got agitated and threw stones at them, and also set three bikes and cycles on fire in front of the college gate. The BJP supporters allegedly vandalised the statue of Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar outside the college and rampaged through the college campus.
The students said the attackers came down from Mr Amit Shah’s van and attacked them. They said some supporters who were behind Mr Shah’s car also came rushing inside and ransacked college property, adding that the men also harassed women students, abused them and beat them up.
“The roadshow was going on. Suddenly, the supporters of BJP rushed inside the college from where students were shouting slogans against BJP. They started throwing sticks and bottles into the campus and tore the college banner,” a tea stall owner in front of the college gate told The Statesman.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee cut short her election campaign on Tuesday and went to the Vidyasagar College to monitor the situation there. She pacified the students, gathered the broken pieces of Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar’s statue and handed them over to the college authorities. “A new statue will soon be installed,” said Banerjee.
Criticising the vandalism, she said: “This is a very unfortunate incident. There are two rogues in the Bharatiya Janata Party ~ Narendra Modi and Amit Shah. It is their good luck that I am still keeping my cool. I will take only two minutes to conquer the BJP office in New Delhi. This incident proves that their defeat is inevitable. They do not know the Bengali culture and are only busy in spreading communal hatred.”
Meanwhile, a high-level inquiry was ordered into the incident, and more than 100 people were arrested.