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ABVP angry, SFI moves to grudging acceptance of guilt: Latest in JU

ABVP activists' march from Gol Park to Jadavpur University was blocked by Kolkata Police today even as an SFI leader indirectly confessed they had indeed assaulted Union minister babul Supriyo last Thursday, albeit as a mark of 'resistance'

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Kolkata: ABVP activists pelted stones at police officers on Monday and tried to break the barricade after their protest rally at Jadavpur University. The RSS-affiliated students’ organisation had taken out a rally from South Kolkata’s Gariahat area, protesting against the attack on Union minister Babul Supriyo on 19 September in the Jadavpur University campus.

As soon as ABVP demonstrators reached Jodhpur Park, the police stopped them by putting up barricades on the road.

The protesters then pelted stones at police officers, tried to break the barricade, while shouting slogans of the Trinamool Congress government.

Babul Supriyo had been was surrounded and held for several hours on Thursday by the communist students of Jadavpur University, where he had gone to attend a seminar organised by the ABVP.

The political heat over last Thursday’s incident had not yet subsided when the ABVP planned this march from Gol Park, next to the Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture. Many professors decided to assemble at Gate No. 4 of the campus to ensure the students did not go berserk.

As the Trinamool government has not taken a concrete stand on the issue, the police administration, arguably the most subservient of all state polices in India, is unsure of its course of action.

Vice-Chancellor (ad hoc) Pradip Ghosh has appealed to the police to ensure that there is no law and order problem in the streets in front of the university. However, the police would not get inside the campus, the university said.

It’s like a battle to protect a fort by one side and annex it by the other. Every party concerned has appealed to citizens to be by its side. The university authorities decided to close all the gates except Gate No. 4 in view of the fact that professors were to enter from there.

Earlier, University students held a cultural gathering at 10 AM. Some professors were on the road at the time to ensure the activists did not incite other students to violence. “We will aim to ensure that students do not take any wrong steps by motivating the students,” Parthapratim Roy, general secretary of the teacher’s organization JUTA, had said before the cultural event.

ABVP activists not only from Kolkata but also from South 24 Parganas assembled at Gol Park at 12 noon today and proceeded towards Jadavpur by 1:30 PM. That is why

According to sources, the ABVP activism has the backing of both the RSS and BJP although the student union did not seek their help.

The ABVP procession today protested against the “persecution” of Babul Supriyo and called for the identification and disciplinary action against the those who allegedly manhandled the minister. State vice-president of ABVP Subir Haldar said, ‘We will demand the safety of students by installing CCTV on campus. We need an appointment with the V-C. He was e-mailed on Sunday.”

Vice-Chancellor Suranjan Das returned home from the hospital today but he has not recovered fully. He said, ‘I will try to go to the campus. Hopefully, no one will get agitated by my presence.” Das had complained of illness at the nick of time last Thursday when he was supposed to visit the campus to cool tempers down. The pro-VC had reported ill simultaneously in a bizarre case of coincidence.

In the meantime, the initial denial of violence by the SFI is giving way to some grudging acceptance of their act. The CPI(M)’s student union leader Ushashi Pal said, “We did not provoke Babul Supriyo. But if there is an attack, there will be resistance.”

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