AT LEAST 11 persons were injured in a clash between two factions of the students wing of the ruling Trinamool Congress at the Ashutosh College here on Tuesday.
The violence at the prestigious college was a result of alleged infighting over ‘political supremacy’ between two groups of the Trinamool Congress Chatra Parishad (TMCP).
“The college has been tense for the past few days, with the two groups repeatedly clashing. One of the groups is led Sarthak Banerjee, chairman of the TMCP wing in Ashutosh College and the other by Sanjay Dey, a post-holder in TMCP’s south Kolkata wing,” said Rudraneel Banerjee, a student at the college.
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The conflict between the two groups originated over the issue of form distribution for second-year students, police said. The argument between the two student union leaders soon escalated into a violent clash as both groups begin to assault each other and vandalise college property.
“A number of students who were not even involved in the argument got injured in the clash. Even injured students, who were attempting to reach the hospital, were stopped and assaulted again. For instance, one injured student wjp was sitting on the backseat of his friend’s bike was stopped and both were beaten with sticks,” said a student, on condition of anonymity.
As the violence continued unabated, police reached the college campus by 3:30pm, but were not allowed to go inside by the warring factions, a senior officer said. “We eventually had to resort to lathicharge to enter the campus and control the violence,” added the officer.
Police said at least 11 students were injured in the incident. The administration of the college and principal Dipak Kumar Kar refused to comment.
Denying involvement in the incident, Ashok Rudra, state president, West Bengal Trinamool Chhatra Parishad, said, “No one from the TMCP was involved in the matter. The violence that took place between college students regarding distribution of forms. These (TMCP) students were not in any way associated with the party,” he said.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the TMCP said “allegations of violence will be looked into and action will be taken against any found guilty”.