Left leaders and activists led by Left Front chairman Biman Bose and CPI-M leaders Sitaram Yechury and Prakash Karat participated in a protest rally on May 15 to condemn the vandalism at Vidyasagar College in Kolkata. (Photo: IANS)
The Vidyasagar College authorities have lodged a complaint against BJP national president Amit Shah and the organisers of his roadshow for the vandalism on the premises. Principal Goutam Kundu suspected “non-Bengalis” behind the vandalism of Vidyasagar bust.
“Bengalis cannot break Vidyasagar bust. They have sentimental connection with him. The miscreants must be non-Bengalis,” said Principal Kundu.
After a meeting of the Vidyasagar College governing body on Wednesday, its president and historian Jiban Mukhopadhyay said: “We are shocked by the incident and demand proper inquiry. We have lodged a complaint at Amherst Street police station over the destruction of our college property. The estimate of loss will be determined soon.”
Officers from the Lalbazar detective department visited the spot on Wednesday and collected photographs and evidence in the evening.
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Education Minister Partha Chatterjee said: “BJP should clarify why they
destroyed Vidyasagar’s statue and why they are trying to demean Bengal’s culture. The video footage circulated on social media clearly showed that some miscreants who were BJP supporters destroyed the bust.”
The Vidyasagar College For Women (Morning section VCFW) also drafted a letter to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and the higher education authorities, including the UCG and MHRD, addressing the incident.
Principal of VCFW Rupali Choudhury said, “We are coordinating with the day section and in solidarity we have drafted a letter to the higher authorities of the state protesting the incident. Our teachers and staff have joined the protest march organised by the Day College.”
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Principals and vice-chancellors of Surendranath College, Rabindra Bhatati University, Jadavpur University, West Bengal State university and many other educational institutions of the state have extended solidarity with Vidyasagar College over the vandalism. “We condemn the vandalism that was perpetrated on educational institutions in Kolkata and wreaking of the bust of Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar in the premises of Vidyasagar College. Such incidents are destroying the sanctity of educational institutions and striking at the root of our eclectic cultural past,” they stated in a joint statement.
The Left Front staged a protest rally on Wednesday from College Square to Hedua where Biman Basu, Sitaram Yechury, Prakash Karat, Suryakanta Mishra and many other CPI-M leaders participated. The Left leaders demanded the intervention of the Election Commission to conduct a proper inquiry.
Trinamool Congress workers too staged a protest against the incident wearing black badges. They gave floral offerings to a photograph of Vidyasagar on the Bidhan Sarani Campus where the incident took place.
The teachers of the Day Section of Vidyasagar College, along with their counterparts from the Morning Section, staged a peaceful protest in the old campus wearing black badges in solidarity and took out a rally in the evening. Former students of the college came forward and spoke to the teachers expressing their grief. They also offered money to reinstall the statue. They have planned a non-political protest on Thursday on the campus.