KOLKATA: EDUCATIONAL institutions have become the most favourite target of ruling party’s hooligans in West Bengal. A single day has not passed in the last few months when TMC miscreants had not attacked either the students or teachers in colleges or schools.
The concerted attacks on the educational institutions by the Trinamool Congress reached a new low on January 5 when the principal of Raigunj College, Dr Dilip Dey Sarkar, was physically assaulted by Trinamool goons within the college premises. He was dragged by the collar from his office, repeatedly shoved, punched and abused. When another professor of the college, Subrata Saha tried to save the principal, he was also assaulted by the Trinamool goons. The entire attack was orchestrated TMC councillor and district level TMC leaders like Tilak Choudhury (district working president of TMC), Gora Sarkar (TMC leader), Ratan Majumder (TMC councillor), Bhola Mukherjee (TMC councillor), Priyabrata Deb, student wing leader of the party. The perpetrators of the crime, later identified, included local TMC activists. The entire incident took place in front of the police, who remained as mute spectators since the culprits belonged to the ruling party. This incident, in particular, has shocked the psyche of the people as it was televised in gory details.
The event evoked strong condemnations from various quarters. But more shocking was the reaction of the chief minister and state government. Cabinet ministers appeared before the press to defend the attackers and termed the assault as a ‘small incident’. Then the chief minister herself described the incident as a ‘very small incident’ and alleged a conspiracy by Congress to malign her government. In tune with the attitude of the highest level of the state administration, the district police sat idle and refused to arrest the main culprits named in the FIR. However, with directions from political high-ups, Tilak Choudhury and Priyabrata Deb stage managed a ‘surrender’ and were granted bail within hours. Sports minister Madan Mitra even went to Raiganj and held a public meeting with Tilak Choudhury present on the stage. It was a clear cut message from TMC leaders that the attacks would continue and the government would shelter ruffians from the ruling party.
The principal has resigned from the post by saying that there is no security in the college at all. Instead of requesting him to continue or assuring him security, the state government immediately accepted his resignation, resulting in another round of shock waves.
This serious incident has not deterred TMC activists and on January 10, another attack took place in Rampurhat College in Birbhum. Here the principal was threatened by outsiders that they would create ‘another Raiganj”. Who cares of law if the chief minister is with you?
On the same day TMC activists ransacked students’ union rooms in Ballygunje Science College campus of Kolkata University and South City College in south Kolkata.
Only last month the headmaster of Jadavpur Vidyapith was beaten up by a TMC mob led by a local councillor. Such incidents are reminiscent of the terror stricken days of the 1970's when the Congress goons attacked the very edifice of the education system in the state. Left Front legislators have submitted a memorandum to the governor drawing his attention to the anarchy in educational institutions.