Two accused have been arrested a day after two Visva- Bharati University students, who are supporters of the CPM-affiliated SFI, were allegedly assaulted with sticks by a group of men.
The two accused have been identified as Achintya Bagdi and Sabbir Ali. Police are looking for the third accused, Sulabh Karmakar, named in the FIR.
While the injured students, Swapnaneel Mukhopadhyay and Falguni Khan, alleged that the attackers belonged to the RSS’s student wing ABVP, the latter denied any involvement in the incident. The ABVP also denied any association with Bagdi and Ali.
The injured students have alleged that the “ABVP members” assaulted them for protesting against BJP MP Swapan Dasgupta on January 8.
The Trinamool Congress, meanwhile, said that both the arrested persons were earlier members of their students’ wing, TMCP, but had left the outfit sometime ago.
According to Mukhopadhyay and Khan — both students of Economics at the Shantiniketan-based university — Bagdi, Ali and Karmakar beat them up with sticks when they were returning to hostel on Wednesday night. They alleged that the trio tried to attack them even after they were admitted to a local hospital.
“They beat us up with sticks as we had staged a protest against BJP MP Swapan Dasgupta on January 8,” Mukhopadhyay told the media from Pearson Memorial Hospital.
On January 8, some SFI members had confined the BJP MP, Visva-Bharati V-C Bidyut Chakraborty and several others to a room for over seven hours to protest against the university’s decision to invite Dasgupta to deliver a lecture on the new citizenship law.
“Their main objection was to our support for the nationwide bandh against the CAA, NRC and NPR. They also opposed our decision to stage a protest against the CAA on campus,” said Khan.
Denying the allegations, Bagdi said he was a member of TMCP, and called it a conspiracy of the SFI and ABVP. “We got reports from a student that there was some trouble on the campus. We only went there to stand by our students. Later, we got to know that the SFI members were injured due to infighting,” Bagdi said.
The ABVP accused the Left-wing students of “trying to disrupt the academic environment of the university”. “Even MP Swapan Dasgupta faced protests… So, it is clear who is carrying out these attacks, from Jadavpur to JNU,” said Saptarshi Sarkar, state secretary of the ABVP.
SFI state secretary Srijan Bhattacharya said the RSS students’ wing was trying to wash its hands off the matter as their “identity has been revealed”. “These students were seen holding a meeting with the V-C and attending ABVP meetings. These former TMCP members have found shelter in the ABVP now. They attacked our members in a pre-planned manner,” said Bhattacharya.
Visva-Bharati University PRO Anirban Sarkar said, “The moment we got to know about the incident, our proctor, deputy proctor, vice-chancellors and security guards rushed to the spot and took measures to control the situation… we will not tolerate such incidents on the campus.”
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