Student activists clash at Presidency University over poster defacement

Presidency University: SFI said that the fracas was triggered by the TMCP, which mobilised outsiders and attacked SFI members when they left the university compound.

Presidency University (Image: Official website)Presidency University (Image: Official website)

Press Trust of India | August 5, 2022 | 07:06 PM IST

KOLKATA: Activists of the Students' Federation of India and the Independent Consolidation, both Left-aligned, clashed with members of the Trinamool Congress Chhatra Parishad at Presidency University here, alleging that posters of their outfit were defaced by rival camps. A senior police officer said that students were being persuaded to settle the matter peacefully.

Debnil Paul, a member of the SFI, told PTI that the "fracas was triggered by the TMCP", which mobilised outsiders and attacked SFI members when they left the university compound on Thursday night. "The TMCP doesn’t have any support base in Presidency. Its members are instigating trouble out of frustration. They had torn our posters put up near the gate and beat up two active members of SFI when they stepped out of the College Street campus," Paul said. The injured activists had to be hospitalised, he claimed.

Members of the IC, an opponent of the SFI on the campus, levelled similar allegations against the activists of the TMC students’ wing. "TMCP members want to let loose terror in Presidency. As some of us protested against their unruly behaviour, they beat up two of our members," IC member Sayan, who goes by his first name, said. Countering the charges, a TMCP leader said SFI members had attacked its activists and also defaced one of their posters. "SFI men beat up our members when they protested against the defacement of a poster which called for the success of a rally. They tore up a picture of CM Mamata Banerjee. SFI and IC don't want any other student body to exist on the campus. This is undemocratic," he added.

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A Presidency University official said the institution wants peace on the campus. "We don’t want any student to get harmed," he said. The official, however, did not confirm if any of the students had to be taken to a hospital following the clashes. A police vehicle was seen stationed outside the campus. The senior police officer, when approached, also said that he had no knowledge of any student being taken to a hospital. “The police cannot intervene under the current circumstances, unless asked to do so by university authorities. We are, however, keeping a watch on the situation,” he added.

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