Visva Bharati University in West Bengal’s Shantiniketan has decided to ask the centre to deploy alternative security on campus after the state police did not respond to calls for help when a 2,000-strong crowd entered the campus and vandalised property for several hours on Monday.
The university has filed a police complaint. Eight people have been arrested for vandalism.
At a meeting of directors, heads of departments and principals on Monday, they decided to inform Prime Minister Narendra Modi about the incident. PM Modi is the chancellor of this central university.
Visva Bharati has been shut indefinitely except for admissions, exams and emergency services after the mob allegedly led by a Trinamool Congress MLA tore down, using bulldozers, at least two of the university’s decorative gates to protest against a boundary wall being put up by the authorities around a ground.
West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar has asked Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to take action.
“Am distressed at rampant vandalism at Viswa Bharati with administration @MamataOfficial failing to take timely pre-emptive steps. Have shared with CM the hoary scenes of violence and police and administration being nowhere around. Appeal for peace to all,” Mr Dhankhar tweeted.
Am distressed at rampant vandalism at Viswa Bharati with administration @MamataOfficial failing to take timely pre-emptive steps.
Have shared with CM the hoary scenes of violence and police and administration being no where around.
Appeal for peace to all. pic.twitter.com/9TtFBFe0Th
— Governor West Bengal Jagdeep Dhankhar (@jdhankhar1) August 17, 2020
The Chief Minister has ordered the district administration to hold a meeting of university authorities and the traders’ organisation that led the protest.
However, Ms Banerjee said she felt building walls was against the ethos of Visva Bharati University, founded by Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore.