TRINAMOOL Congress MLA from Diamond Harbour was on Monday arrested following a clash between two factions of the Trinamool Chhatra Parishad (TMCP) at the Fakir Chand College in the area.
In the afternoon, a group of TMCP students, who were supporters of MLA Deepak Halder, clashed with a group close to Diamond Harbour Block I president Umapada Purkayastha. The row was on who will control the union room.
Halder was informed about the clash, following which, he reportedly came to the college. On seeing him, his supporters became more aggressive and started fighting with sticks, rods and bamboos.
At least 15 TMCP members were injured. Three among them are serious.
Later, when Halder went to the district hospital to meet supporters who had sustained injuries, he was arrested. Following this, a number of Halder’s supporters held a demonstration in front of the Diamond Harbour police station, demanding his release.
Prior to his arrest, Halder told mediapersons that he had arrived at the college only after the clash was over.
“I am the president of the college’s governing body. I went to the college to see what the trouble was. When I went there at 2 pm, the outsiders who came to the college to create trouble, had already left after beating up the students. I am being blamed by a section of leaders from my own party,” he claimed.
Purkayastha, however, said: “Halder is a liar. He was present throughout and orchestrated the violence in the college.”
While condemning the incident, state Education Minister Partha Chatterjee criticised Halder’s role in the incident. “Out of 800, incidents like these are happening only in 3 to 4 colleges. But this too is not desirable. Students, teachers and guardians should be present in colleges. Halder’s presence in the college was unbecoming of an MLA and a Trinamool leader. I don’t have words to condemn it. The MLA should be arrested,” Chatterjee said.
He also said that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who was in North Bengal, has been informed about the incident.
The arrest comes in the backdrop of incidents of campus violence across the state and Opposition parties accusing the state administration of staying mum on them due to alleged involvement of Trinamool’s student wing.