Union minister Babul Supriyo faced strict opposition from a section of students in Kolkata’s Jadavpur University (JU) on Thursday (September 19). He was shown black flags and was allegedly heckled when he had visited the university to address a seminar organised by the ABVP, the student wing of the RSS, news agency PTI reported.
Members of the Arts Faculty Students’ Union (AFSU) and Students Federation of India (SFI) stopped the Asansol MP from entering the campus for over an hour and raised ‘Babul Supriyo Go Back’ slogans, sources were quoted as saying. The students also blocked his way when he was leaving the campus.
Stating that he was saddened by the behaviour of some students, Supriyo told reporters that he was pulled by his hair and was also pushed by the students. He termed the behaviour of the protesters as “absolutely deplorable”. “I have not come here to do politics,” he added.
West Bengal: Heavy security deployed outside Jadhavpur University in Kolkata, where Union Minister Babul Supriyo faced protest by Students' Federation of India (SFI) and AISA (All India Students Assn) who were opposing his visit to campus. He was there to attend an event of ABVP. pic.twitter.com/9YttqHexYN
— ANI (@ANI) September 19, 2019
The minister further claimed that protesters tried to provoke him by referring to themselves as “Naxals” and hamper peace by instigating other students to create a stampede-like situation.
One of the protesters, AFSU leader Debraj Debnath, said that the RSS, the BJP and the ABVP will not be allowed to spread their ideology in a liberal institute like JU, reported PTI.
During the incident, the minister was seen, in television grabs, asking the agitators to continue their protest claiming that they would not be able to intimidate him.
West Bengal Governor and chancellor of the university Jagdeep Dhankhar had rushed to the campus on learning about the incident. As per sources, the protesters continued their agitation before the Governor when he tried to leave the campus with Supriyo. He has also sought the state chief secretary to take immediate action into the matter, PTI said.
JU vice chancellor Suranjan Das condemned the incident as “unfortunate” and said he will send a report to the Governor. He reportedly tried to reason with the protesters, but in vain.
Responding to the incident, the Raj Bhavan said in a statement, “The Governor takes the incident very seriously as it involves unlawful detention of a Union minister and this is a very serious reflection on the law and order of the state and on the conduct of the law enforcing agencies.”
In a tweet, BJP Rajya Sabha MP Swapan Dasgupta criticised the protesters as “pro-Naxal students supporting azadi in Kashmir”.
“Disgraceful scenes in Jadavpur University as pro-naxal students supporting azadi in Kashmir block entry of @SuPriyoBabul. All this happening despite attempt by VC to appeal for calm. This is the state of some of our universities where a small minority flex their muscles,” the Rajya Sabha MP said.
(With inputs from agencies)