BJP goons desecrate Vidyasagar's statue, rough up college students
Kolkata: BJP national president Amit Shah's mega rally in Kolkata triggered violent clashes on Tuesday evening after supporters of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), who were a part of the roadshow, resorted to unprecedented hooliganism at Vidyasagar College campus, even vandalizing the bust of 19th century educationist and social reformer Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar.
The violence triggered a sharp reaction from Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee who appealed for calm. She rushed to Vidyasagar College to take stock of the situation immediately after the incident and ordered a high-level probe. Addressing the press there, she said: "It is a very unfortunate incident and I totally condemn it. I am born and brought up in Kolkata but I have never seen such vandalism by any political party. Is Amit Shah God? Why cannot 'Go back' slogans be raised against him? Students were attacked in Calcutta University and Vidyasagar College. Does Shah know anything about CU? Statues of Vidyasagar and Vivekananda have been vandalised. BJP brought in anti-social elements from other states including Bihar and Rajasthan."
The TMC chief also criticised the Election Commission for allegedly not taking enough action against the BJP for spending huge amount of unaccounted money in the polls. "While coming through Bidhan Sarani (a North Kolkata road), I saw such huge cut-outs (of Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi). They are spending so much money. Why is the EC not taking action against them," Banerjee said.
She further added: "I was supposed to take part in a political rally tomorrow (Wednesday). I have noticed that each time just before my programme, BJP does something like this in a very planned and systematic manner. Being a Bengali, I am ashamed. I apologise."
North Kolkata candidate Sudip Bandyopadhyay, Nayana, state Education minister Partha Chatterjee, Smita Bakshi, Indranil Sen were also present alongside the Chief Minister. The Chief Minister also visited the CU campus.