Kolkata: Union minister Babul Supriyo was on Thursday shown black flags and allegedly heckled by a section of students at Jadavpur University, where he had gone to address a seminar organised by the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) – the student wing of the RSS.
Supriyo was initially stopped from entering the campus for around one-and-half hours from 2.30 pm by members of Left-leaning organisations — Arts Faculty Students’ Union (AFSU) and Students Federation of India (SFI) — who raised the slogan ‘Babul Supriyo Go Back’, varsity sources said.
He later left the campus accompanied by West Bengal Governor and university chancellor Jagdeep Dhankhar after facing students demonstration for about an hour.
“I did not come here to do politics. But I am saddened by the behaviour of some of the students of the university, the way they have heckled me… They pulled me by my hair and also pushed me,” Supriyo, who attended the seminar amid heavy security, told reporters.
Describing the behaviour of the agitators as “absolutely deplorable”, he alleged that they were trying to “disturb peace by instigating other students and seminar organisers to create a stampede-like situation”.
Supriyo also claimed that the protesters tried to “provoke him by openly referring to themselves as naxals”.
AFSU leader Debraj Debnath, who participated in the protest, asserted that “fascist forces” will not be allowed on the campus.
“We will not let the BJP, the RSS and the ABVP to spread their ideology in a liberal institute like JU.”
A TV grab showed Supriyo gesturing at the protesters, asking them to continue their demonstration and claiming that he would not be intimidated by them.
West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar had rushed to the campus following the incident.
The agitating students are demonstrating before the governor even as he is trying to leave the campus with the Union minister, the university sources said.
Earlier, Dhankar had maintained that the “gherao” of Supriyo by the students is a very “serious matter”.
He has asked the state chief secretary to take immediate action in the matter, Raj Bhavan sources said.
According to the university sources, JU Vice Chancellor Suranjan Das had tried to reason with the agitating students but they refused to budge.
“It was unfortunate. I will send a report on the incident to the governor,” Das said.
Extending support to the Union minister, BJP Rajya Sabha MP Swapan Dasgupta, in a tweet, criticised the agitators for creating a “disgraceful scene” at the university.
“Disgraceful scenes in Jadavpur University as pro- naxal students supporting azadi in Kashmir block entry of @SuPriyoBabul. All this happening despite attempt by VC to appeal for calm. This is the state of some of our universities where a small minority flex their muscles,” Dasgupta posted on the micro-blogging site.