Kolkata, Apr 3 (PTI) A purported video showing a student leader and his associates threatening and verbally abusing Aliah University Vice-Chancellor Mohammad Ali went viral on social media on Sunday.
Although the student leader, identified as Giasuddin Mondal, was allegedly associated with the Trinamool Congress Chhatra Parishad, the ruling party in West Bengal distanced itself from the incident.
A university official said that the incident took place at the institute’s New Town campus on Friday when Mondal along with a few others went to the VC’s office and threatened him with dire consequences if the PhD list was not immediately changed and those recommended by him included in it.
Even as Ali tried to reason with the abusers and ask them to leave the office and come back for talks in a proper manner, Mondal and his aides kept shouting and using expletives against the VC as some staffers threw a cordon around the official.
The abusers stayed in the VC’s chamber for hours and before leaving, threatened to return if the list was not revised. They alleged manipulation on the part of the university administration.
Ali, who refused to divulge details of the incident, later told reporters that Mondal and some others had gheraoed him for a couple of hours inside his office on Friday and used foul language.
“I had called up the police seeking their help, but they did not come,” he said.
The campus comes under the jurisdiction of the New Town police station.
TMCP state president Trinankur Bhattacharya said that Mondal had been expelled from the students’ union five years back for engaging in physical assault inside and outside the campus.
“We condemn the incident. The VC’s abusers must be punished. This is not our culture,” he said.
Trinamool Congress state general secretary Kunal Ghosh said the party condemns in strongest terms such conduct towards teachers and advocates for strict punishment for the guilty.
Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar, the chancellor of the university, said, “My heart bleeds when I hear about such incidents. A teacher is the architect of a nation. He can’t be subjected to such conduct.”
BJP state president Sukanta Majumdar said that the incident shows how some TMCP leaders have “crossed all limits”.
“The VC remained silent and did not react as he is a gentleman. Had it been me, I would have slapped the abusers,” he said.
Leader of Opposition Suvendu Adhikari said in a Bengali tweet, “This is not an isolated incident under the regime of Bengal’s daughter. This is the state’s culture now. The VC said that police did not come to his rescue. This is expected as police won’t arrest those having hands of influential TMC leaders on their heads.”
CPI(M) central committee member Sujan Chakraborty said that the incident is another pointer to how the atmosphere in educational institutions has been vitiated under the TMC rule.
Nirufa Khatun, a student of the institution, said that while there are many grievances of the pupils, “The conduct of Mondal, who isn’t a student of Aliah University anymore, is deplorable and we demand his arrest.”
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