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Academy war of words

The tussle between two factions trying to gain control of the Academy of Fine Arts came to a head on November 6, when the executive committee of the older group with Asit Paul as its president held a meeting in the conference hall “by force” in the presence of police, allegedly with Citu support.

Paul, on the other hand, said on Wednesday they could open the door of the conference room for their “Bijoya celebrations” only after calling the as the keys to the room had been appropriated by a member of the opponents, against whom there is a court order dating back to 2010.

Sunanda Mukherjee, chairperson of the women’s commission, who claims she is “associated with the affairs of the academy like many other Bengalis”, said Paul’s faction (without naming him) has been trying to use the academy to further its own interests, and he is backed by the Citu.

Paul, however, says Trinamul intellectuals of late have held meetings at the academy where they have demanded a CID probe into the November 6 incident and government takeover of the academy.

Significantly, about six months ago, Suvaprasanna had started a signature campaign for government takeover of the academy.