Bengal rights panel orders probe into Presidency vandalism

Kolkata, April 11 (IANS) Taking suo motu cognisance of the vandalism at the prestigious Presidency University, the West Bengal Human Rights Commission Thursday asked city police to probe the matter.

“We have asked the city police commissioner (S. Purakayastha) to initiate a probe into the vandalism at the Presidency University and submit a report within two weeks,” said Sujay Haldar, joint secretary of the state human rights commission.

The probe is to be headed by an officer not below the rank of assistant police commissioner.

The commission has also asked Amol Mukhopadhyay, former principal of Presidency University, to conduct an independent inquiry and submit a report within two weeks.

A bunch of hooligans, allegedly members of the Trinamool Congress students’ union, stormed the elite university campus Wednesday and vandalised the premises and beat up students, some of them women.

The vandalism was a part of a series of statewide retaliatory attacks after Trinamool supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and her Finance Minister Amit Mitra were Tuesday heckled by a crowd in Delhi.

The chief minister was allegedly harassed by members of the Students Federation of India, affiliated to opposition Communist Party of India-Marxist.

In Kolkata, the hooligans damaged the heritage, century-old Baker’s Building which houses the physics laboratory where eminent scientists like Jagadish Chandra Bose, Satyendra Nath Bose and Meghnad Saha conducted research.

The attack has attracted severe criticism from all quarters. The university has sought Governor M.K. Narayanan’s intervention in the matter.

Narayanan Thursday described the attackers as criminals, and said they should be punished.

Past and present students, including some NRIs, staged a protest march Thursday, condemning the incident and demanding punishment for the vandals.

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