Kolkata/New Delhi, April 11 (IANS) West Bengal’s ruling Trinamool Congress activists took to violent protests Wednesday, vandalising the prestigious Presidency University and allegedly attacking offices of the Left Front constituents.
The violence took place as chief minister Mamata Banerjee was admitted to a private nursing home a day after being heckled by SFI activists in Delhi.
Banerjee was taken to the Belle Vue Clinic, shortly after returning from an “unsafe” Delhi, after she complained of breathing problems, palpitation and body pain.
“She has low blood pressure and low pulse rate. She needs rest and analgesics… Needs close monitoring,” said a bulletin issued by the nursing home.
Earlier in the day, speaking to newspersons in Delhi, Banerjee said she was returning to Kolkata as she was unwell and on oxygen whole of Tuesday night. Doctors suggested hospitalisation but I don’t want to go to hospital”.
“I am going back. I will come again… Delhi is not safe,” she said.
In Kolkata, belligerent Trinamool members took to the streets flexing their muscle, with activists of the party’s students arm storming the Presidency University campus and beating up its students.
“They were carrying Trinamool Congress Chhatra Parishad flags and shouting slogans. They broke the gates and entered the campus. They beat up our students,” Presidency University vice chancellor Malabika Sarkar told a media conference here.
Sarkar said that police “did not take any action. It is absolutely unacceptable. They vandalised the physics department. This is an unprovoked attack on peaceful students in a university campus”.
The heritage Baker’s Building, which celebrated its centenary recently, also faced the wrath of the vandals.
After the mob left, students supporting SFI and Independent Consolidation (IC) held a meeting and called a strike Thursday to protest the violence by the TMCP.
The Trinamool and its mass organisations, which observed a condemnation day, staged protest rallies across the state, with many of the participants tying their mouth with black cloth or wearing black badges.
Led by the party’s all India general secretary Mukul Roy, the Trinamool members also held a protest at the Jantar Mantar in Delhi.
In northern West Bengal’s Siliguri town of Darjeeling district, there were clashes between Left Front spearhead Communist Party of India-Marxist and Trinamool cadres, following which former minister Ashok Bhattacharya and several other CPI-M leaders were arrested.
Left Front chairman Biman Bose alleged in Kolkata that 1,000 offices of the LF constituents were vandalised in the state by the Trinamool and asked the state government to take effective steps to stop the violence.
“Around 105 offices of Left front were vandalised in the district of Cooch Behar alone and when all districts are taken together the number rises to 1000. Many district leaders were also attacked,” he claimed.
Meanwhile, West Bengal Governor M.K. Narayanan used strong words as he expressed shock over the “pre-meditated assault” on Banerjee and state ministers in New Delhi, and asked the CPI-M politburo for a public apology.
Stating that the incident was “unprecedented in India’s modern history”, he said those “responsible for the attack and their instigators have forfeited the right to function within a democratic framework”.
The governor requested the Trinamool and other parties of the state to maintain peace and “not give way to their emotions”.
In a statement, the CPI-M politburo “disapproved and condemned” Tuesday’s incident in Delhi and promised to look “into how this has happened”.
“However, on the pretext of this incident, widespread violence has been unleashed against the CPI(M) and the Left in West Bengal,” the politburo said .
But Banerjee said her party cadres were “totally peaceful.. “There should have been a bloodbath … but it is peaceful,” she said, terming Left parties, which condemned Tuesday’s incident, as hypocrites.