The Visva Bharati University in Shantiniketan, in West Bengal’s Birbhum district, has formed a three-member investigation committee to conduct inquiries into the protests faced by Bharatiya Janata Party MP and columnist Swapan Dasgupta at the institution on January 8, PTI reported.
Dasgupta, who was at the university to address a meeting on the Citizenship Amendment Act, was allegedly confined in a room by protestors for several hours. The protests were led by the Students’ Federation of India, which is affiliated to the Communist Party of India (Marxist). Dasgupta is a vocal supporter of the law that was approved by Parliament on December 11. It provides citizenship to refugees from six minority religious communities from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan, provided they have lived in India for six years and entered the country by December 31, 2014.
The Act has been widely criticised for excluding Muslims. The Left has been part of widespread nationwide protests against the law. During the protests against Dasgupta, an SFI leader at Visva Bharati told PTI that the students would not allow anyone who “promotes hatred among communities” to spread propaganda on the soil of the university that stands for the ideals of Rabindranath Tagore.
On Wednesday night, members of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad – the student wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh – allegedly assaulted two university students, who had to be admitted to a hospital. The attack was allegedly in retaliation against the heckling of Dasgupta.
The ruling Trinamool Congress condemned the attack on the students. “On behalf of all peace loving citizens, especially students, we strongly condemn the violent acts of students affiliated to BJP on hallowed portals of Visva Bharati, a central university campus,” the party tweeted. “We welcome swift action taken by police and appeal to administration to continue action to book culprits.”