Press Trust of India|Nov 29, 2023
Mamata Banerjee blames small section of 'CPI-M faithfuls' in Jadavpur University for ragging incident
There exists an environment of terror in the prestigious higher educational institution (JU), Mamta Banerjee claimed.
KOLKATA: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee blamed a "small section of CPI-M faithfuls" in Jadavpur University (JU) for the alleged incident of ragging that claimed the life of a first year student. She said these "CPI-M faithfuls" consider JU as their "fiefdom" and their "birth right" to torture young students who hail from rural areas. But most students of the prestigious university cannot be blamed for ragging, Banerjee said at a meeting of Trinamool Congress at Behala in the city on Monday night.
The CPI-M hit back angrily saying the chief minister is doing "cheap politics" over the unfortunate death of a teenaged student. "Jadavpur University is surely a reputed institution and I do not blame most of the students there, not the common student. However, a small section belonging to the CPI(M) fold consider it their own place. They think it is their birthright to torture young students who come from rural areas. They don't allow CCTV cameras, or police inside the campus," Banerjee said referring to the death of a first year undergraduate student, a resident of the boys' main hostel on August 10 morning. "Do these elements consider the university their property?" she asked.
There exists an environment of terror in the prestigious higher educational institution (JU), Banerjee claimed. The incident has created an uproar and has led to the arrest of three students, including a pass out. The TMC supremo said, "The boy's father told me that his son would call up his parents and talk about the torture faced by him ... I was told that the boy was forced to take off his amulet by these elements, who told him the university is a Red bastion, They (alleged tormentors of the boy in the hostel) don't have an iota of shame for what they did". Banerjee recalled that when she called up the student's father to offer her condolences he had told her that he could never imagine that some students senior to his son will torture him and cause his death.
"A father is demanding justice ... I am extremely saddened and appalled at the incident," she said. "If our younger generation is interested in politics, I urge them not to join such forces which don't believe in the power of humanity," Banerjee added. Reacting to Banerjee's statements, CPI-M central committee member Sujan Chakraborty said, "The chief minister is doing cheap politics over the unfortunate death of a teenaged student, whose death has disturbed us all. She is speaking more as a TMC leader and less as an administrator."
The CPI-M student wing (SFI), he told reporters, is fighting for the democratic rights of students like right to education and livelihood, for upholding secular, progressive and liberal values in the university campus. "The SFI is against the fascist and dictatorial policies of TMCP and right wing ABVP ... The student wing (TMCP) of the chief minister's party has been involved in incidents of assault, torture and unleashing of terror across colleges in West Bengal, It has been scaring ordinary students and its leaders have been occupying posts in college unions for years despite having passed out long before," Chakraborty said.
A 17-year undergraduate student of Bengali honours fell from the second floor balcony of the boy's main hostel of the state-run Jadavpur University on August 9 night and died the next morning at a local hospital. His death triggered an outrage with allegations of physical torture and ragging by his hostel seniors. Subsequently two second year students and one former student overstaying in the hostel was arrested amidst massive anti-ragging protests by different student bodies and parties. Incidentally, those calling the shots in the boys' main hostel. which is located outside the JU main campus, do not belong to either the SFI, the CPI-M student wing, but to another ultra left students' body. This student's outfit controls the students union in the university's engineering department for decades. The SFI, Trinamool Chatra Parishad (TMCP) and ABVP separately held street protests against the boy's death and demanded "severe" and exemplary punishment to his tormentors. They also called for an end to the practice of ragging and physical torture of freshers.
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