Kolkata walks in silence, condemns Presidency vandalism

Kolkata, April 11 (IANS) Hundreds of students, alumni, teachers and employees of Presidency University staged a protest march in the city Thursday, condemning the vandalism of the prestigious institution and demanding punishment for the miscreants.

The five-km march from the university gates saw the protestors – sporting black arm and head bands – walking silently carrying placards denouncing Wednesday’s vandalism.

“We were threatened with rape, and even beaten up. The hooligans threatened me thrice, saying if I leave the campus, they will rape me,” a student told reporters.

Activists of the Trinamool Congress Chhatra Parishad, the party’s student wing, stormed the Presidency University campus Wednesday and thrashed students, including girls.

The vandalism was part of a series of state-wide retaliatory attacks in the wake of the heckling of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Finance Minister Amit Mitra by activists of Students’ Federation of India, the student wing of Communist Party of India-Marxist, in New Delhi Tuesday.

Some of the protesting students accused the police of inaction when the attackers ran amok, vandalising the heritage Baker Building which houses the historic physics laboratory where eminent scientists like Jagadish Chandra Bose, Satyendra Nath Bose and Meghnad Saha did their research work.

“There were several policemen inside the premises when the goons attacked and assaulted us. But they chose to be mute spectators despite our constant wail for help,” said another student.

The university has sought the intervention of Governor M.K. Narayanan as well as the chief minister for a probe into the incident.

“I have already given an eye-witness account of the entire incident to the governor. I appeal to him as well as the chief minister to initiate a serious probe into it to ensure such a deplorable incident never recurs,” Vice Chancellor Malabika Sarkar said.

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