West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee used a photo of Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar as her profile picture on social media handles on Wednesday as a mark of protest against the vandalism of the Bengali renaissance era icon’s bust during the violence at BJP chief Amit Shah’s roadshow.

The official Twitter and Facebook accounts of Trinamool Congress (TMC) as well as other prominent leaders and supporters of the party also had Vidyasagar’s image.

Banerjee visited Vidyasagar College where the incident happened and inspected the damage.

“It is a very unfortunate incident and an entire college was vandalised. A bust of Iswarchandra Vidyasagar was broken. I have kept broken parts of the bust where the original statue was there. I have never seen such political violence in Kolkata,” Mamata Banerjee said after visiting the college.

She accused the BJP of bringing “miscreants” from other states like Bihar, Rajasthan and spending crores of rupees to put up cut-outs for the road show.

“Does Amit Shah have any idea about the University of Calcutta that is our pride? Who is he? Can’t they stage protest demonstrations against him? Many people protest against me by putting up posters. I do not mind. In a democratic framework, why have the BJP’s goons attacked Vidyasagar College?” she asked.

At a rally in Behala on Tuesday, the TMC chief called Shah a “goonda”.

“If you lay your hands on Vidyasagar, what will I call you other than a goonda,” she said, adding, “I hate your ideology, I hate your ways.”

The TMC government announced a protest rally on Thursday against the vandalisation of the bust of Vidyasagar.

Banerjee also said that an inquiry would be initiated.

Meanwhile, TMC MP Derek O’Brien slammed Shah over the violence, calling him “pukeworthy”.

“Desperate BJP goons from outside Bengal smash statue of Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar inside the college. Violent mob of BJP ‘outsiders’ in presence of Pukeworthy Shah. How little you know about Bengal, its rich history, its culture. Bengal will never forgive for what you did today,” he tweeted.

 

“Here’s a picture of the desecrated bust of #Vidyasagar … More proof of vandalism by #BJP goons at Amit Shah’s road show. #Kolkata,” O’Brien wrote in a tweet on Wednesday.

 

TMC chief whip and Rajya Sabha MP Sukhendu Sekhar Roy, too, took to Twitter to condemn the desecration of the bust.

“Hired goons of BJP vandalised Calcutta University and Vidyasagar College, bikes set ablaze, bust of Vidyasagar demolished today during roadshow of BJP President in Kolkata today. What a tribute to Vidyasagar on the eve of his bicentenary,” he wrote.

 

Vidyasagar was known as a reformer and educator but holds a very special place in Bengal for his monumental work in reconstructing the Bengali alphabet and his campaign in favour of Hindu widow remarriage.