Kolkata, April 12: West Bengal Governor M K Narayanan will visit Presidency University on Friday, two days after outsiders accused to be Trianmool Congress (TMC) men stormed the campus and ransacked the historic labs of the institute and also beat up and threatened students. Teachers were not spared either.
Though the ruling party denied any connection with the violence, cameras present on the spot filmed a local TMC councillor, Partha Basu, at the entrance as the mob tried to break into the university premises.
Basu, however, promised to resign instantly if it was proved that he had tried to enter the premises. He counter-alleged that Left student activists threw stones at a TMC rally, of which he was a part, as it was passing by the institute.
According to the Presidency University students, a group of at least 100 people carrying TMC flags attacked the students and teachers while the police stood as mere spectators, saying they did not have orders to intervene.
Vice-chancellor of the university Malabika Sarkar said the intruders beat up students, chased girls and made obscene remarks at them. She said the varsity staff went down to protect the students as the policemen stood idle. Some students alleged that the attackers had even threatened to rape them.
Mamata Banerjee, soon after coming to power in May 2011, had vowed to take back the historic Presidency University (then a college) to its glorious past and even had appointed a high-profile mentor group to improve its standards and also give it an international exposure. [Read: Improving only Presidency won't help education in Bengal]
TMC MP Derek O'Brien later said that the TMC has no student wing in the university and the violence was planned by the Left.
The ruling party has been on an offensive since Tuesday, when Banerjee and some of her Cabinet colleagues were heckled by alleged Left student activists in Delhi after they had gone there to meet Planning Commission officials. The activists were protesting the death of a 22-year-old SFI leader in police custody in Kolkata on April 2 and Banerjee's denouncing it as a "petty matter" in Bangalore later.
Meanwhile, CPI(M) General Secretary Prakash Karat wrote to President Pranab Mukherjee to intervene after the Governor remarked that the attack on Banerjee and her ministers in the national capital was pre-meditated.
Other Left leaders of the state also criticised the Governor after the latter asked the CPI(M) politburo to tender an apology for the Delhi incident. State Left Front chief Biman Bose said Narayanan had made the remark out of "ignorance".