Partha Chatterjee says Trinamool workers acted with great restraint

The Left claims that over a thousand party offices have been attacked by supporters of the Trinamool Congress in retaliation to the protests that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee faced in New Delhi, but Trinamool Congress secretary general Partha Chatterjee said here on Thursday that the aftermath of the incident “could have been far worse” and party workers had “acted with restraint.” Finance Minister Amit Mitra and Ms. Banerjee were heckled by SFI supporters in New Delhi on Tuesday.

Mr. Chatterjee said that from the very first time scenes outside the Yojana Bhavan in New Delhi were shown on television, “the people of Bengal and Trinamool Congress workers were agitated” but “they have shown restraint.”

Commenting on the media attention on Wednesday’s attack at the Presidency University by a group of miscreants carrying Trinamool Congress flags, Mr. Chatterjee said: “A small incident is being used to sideline a major incident that happened in New Delhi — this is condemnable.”

Social activist, writer and Magsaysay awardee Mahasweta Devi condemned the manner of the protests that Ms. Banerjee faced in New Delhi. She was also critical of the violence across the State. “In the present context, there is no alternative to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee,” she said. The praise from Mahasweta Devi, who is known to be close to Ms. Banerjee, is significant because of late the writer has often been critical of the government’s actions.

Two days after the developments in New Delhi, the wave of protests continued across the State.

While the youth wing of the Trinamool took out processions in the city condemning the developments in New Delhi, students, teachers, alumni and the authorities of the Presidency University also took to the streets in protest against the attack.

A strike called by the Left Front in Darjeeling district in protest against arrests and detention of several leaders and party workers by the police resulted in a shutdown in certain areas in Siliguri.

Senior CPI(M) leader and a former Minister in the Left Front government, Ashok Bhattacharya, who was himself detained by the police, said the women who were arrested had been released on bail, but more than 45 others were remanded in judicial custody for another day.