The Trinamool Congress secretary general and State Industries and Commerce Minister, Partha Chatterjee, on Saturday described the vandalism at Presidency University, where a group of people with flags of the party’s student wing attacked students and ransacked the historic Baker Laboratories earlier this week, as staged.
Soon after his remarks sparked an outcry from various quarters, he clarified that he did not want to downplay the incident, but suggested that the police should inquire and see whether it was staged or not.
“The incident at Presidency [University] is also staged … I am saying this with all responsibility,” Mr. Chatterjee earlier said at a rally of Trinamool Congress supporters who gathered to protest against the attack on Finance Minister Amit Mitra in New Delhi on Tuesday.
Mr. Chatterjee said the vandalism was “trivial” compared to the “attack on [the] Chief Minister” in New Delhi. He criticised the Presidency University Registrar Prabir Dasgupta “for not assisting” the police in their probe of the incident.
“When students are beaten up then he [the Registrar] does not go to police station, but when Pappu Singh [a gatekeeper at the varsity ] is interrogated he feels sorry,” Mr Chatterjee said.
On Friday, the Minister blamed Mr. Singh for “instigating” the incident and demanded his arrest, stating that he was a functionary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist). The university authorities, however, came out in support of Mr Singh and accompanied him to the local Jorasanko police station, where he was interrogated for three hours.
Meanwhile, Deborshi Chakraborty, a student at the University, who was injured in Wednesday’s attack, lodged a first information report at the local police station against Partha Basu, a Trinamool Congress councillor and leader of the party’s student-wing, for his involvement in the violence.
Two cases have been already been registered in connection with the incident, one by the University authority and the other by the leader of the Trinamool Congress’ student wing against two students, including Mr. Chakraborty.
In another development, State Left Front Committee chairperson Biman Bose met deceased SFI leader Sudipta Gupta’s father at his residence and claimed that the attacks taking place in the State may have been planned to divert people’s attention from Sudipta’s death.