Student protests at Jadavpur University against the screening of Bollywood director Vivek Agnihotri’s political drama Buddha in a Traffic Jam turned violent on Friday. The agitation reportedly took a turn for the worse after the JU Alumni Association, which runs the Triguna Sen auditorium where the screening was to be held, cancelled the booking in the hall for a pre-release screening citing the model code of conduct in effect in West Bengal. Members of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, who had organised the screening, allegedly manhandled students, including women, after permission for the showing was withdrawn, The Indian Express reported.

Reacting to the incident, Bengal Governor KN Tripathi said the university is turning into a "centre for disturbance" and authorities should take stern action against it, reported PTI. "Jadavpur University which was once known as centre for excellence is fast turning into centre for disturbances. The authorities should take stern action against it," Tripathi, who is also the chancellor of the university, said on Saturday.

The state unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party called the university a “hub of anti-national elements”. “Student unrest has become a common phenomenon in JU. The screening of a film, cleared by the Censor Board, was stopped illegally. The trend of CPI[M] and Left-backed student unions of JU has been to stop anything that is against their ideology, which is totally against the country’s democratic set up. We condemn it,” state BJP chief Dilip Ghosh said.

According a dna report, university authorities cancelled the screening citing the model code of conduct after being informed that students were gathering to oppose it. Agnihotri decided to proceed with the screening despite the cancellation and faced protests. The filmmaker said on Twitter that agitating students were attacking his car and that they had broken his shoulder. According to an IANS report, JU Vice Chancellor Suranjan Das said they had no control over the working of the Triguna Sen auditorium and that it was run entirely by the alumni association.

A student of the arts department, Payal Sarkar, said things went downhill on Friday after ABVP members disrupted the screening of a documentary based on the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots saying they would not allow them to screen a movie if they were not allowed to do the same.

Bitan Basu, a student of the Film Studies department, said ABVP students had organised the screening of the Anupam Kher-starrer like a political rally. “They were raising pro-Modi and pro-BJP slogans,” he added. ABVP supporters were also allegedly beaten up by JU students’ union members and then hospitalised, dna reported.

The university has filed a complaint against four outsiders, three of whom are ABVP activists, for allegedly molesting female students during the clashes. The JU vice chancellor blamed the alumni association for first granting permission for the open-air screening and then withdrawing it, IANS reported.