Muslim student union leaders gheraoed the vice chancellor of Aliah University, a state varsity, in Kolkata the day before yesterday over the charge of corruption that turned out to be a charge that they were not enjoying some privileges they had expected. Ghiasuddin Mandal, a former student leader, was arrested for insulting and threatening to kill the vice-chancellor during the student protest at Aliah University.
Students on 1 April staged a dharna (sit-in protest) and gherao (blockade) against Aliah University Vice-Chancellor Mohammad Ali over allegations that he was complicit in the scandal of the leakage of exam question papers. Ghiyasuddin Mandal can be heard in a video being the most abusive among the protestors. The video of the protest had gone viral on social media. Mandal threatens to kill the vice chancellor and abuses him too.
While the authenticity of the video needs to be verified forensically, it does not appear to be doctored. This led to a flood of condemnation from various quarters. The Muslim student union leader was then arrested.
But before his arrest, the Muslim activist held a press conference in Mohammadpur, New Town today. Police at Techno City arrested him from there.
At the press conference in Rajarhat today, held after his video went viral, Ghiasuddin admitted what was seen and heard in the viral video was true.
Mandal told a Bangla television channel, “I am being called an expelled student leader. I was fired. But the expulsion order was withdrawn later.”
The Muslim activist said his union’s protest centered on the merit list for PhD. “I made the right claim. My approach may be wrong. Here students are getting marks of 80, 90. They are not able to qualify for Gate or Neet. Why?” he asked.
“I am also a Trinamool Congress activist,” the Muslim activist said, “I’m ashamed. Apologies to the VC. But my demand was correct.”
Trincomalee Bhattacharya, president of the West Bengal Trinamool Chhatra Parishad, said in a statement that some outsiders had recently been seen in a video behaving indecently towards the vice-chancellor of Aliah University. “I immediately condemned the incident. Aliah University’s Trinamool Chhatra Parishad unit rushed the vice-chancellor to the hospital after learning of the incident. The man who was seen attacking the vice-chancellor was expelled from Aliah University in 2016 for immoral conduct,” Bhattacharya said.
Ghiasuddin Mandal was later expelled from the Trinamool Chhatra Parishad unit in Aliah University, Bhattacharya told the press. “Since then, he has had no contact with the Trinamool Chhatra Parishad of Aliah University.”
“The Trinamool Congress condemns his (Mandal’s) behaviour. I condemn it. We are always in favour of maintaining a healthy environment in the university. We request the university authorities and administration to take legal action against the culprits. I do not believe in anarchy in the field of education,” said Bhattacharya.
Trinamool Congress spokesman Kunal Ghosh said the Trinamool Chhatra Parishad had nothing to do with the incident. “If the vice chancellor lodges a complaint, our position is that the police will definitely take action against the accused,” the party spokesman said.