Villagers in Kamduni on Saturday. Picture by Sanjib Chaki
Calcutta, June 22: A former Calcutta University student was beaten up allegedly by Trinamul Congress Chhatra Parishad (TMCP) supporters when he went to the varsity hours after participating in yesterday’s march protesting the wave of attacks on women.
Swadesh Kotal, who completed his masters degree in commerce in 2012, had gone to the university around 4.30pm to collect a character certificate from the head of the commerce department when he was attacked.
The TMCP supporters allegedly caught Kotal by the neck outside the department head’s chamber in Asutosh Building and beat him up.
“I was sitting on a bench outside the head’s chamber when a group of TMCP supporters led by Tirthapratim Saha (a leader of the union) arrived and demanded to know why I had taken part in the rally. Before I could answer, they caught me by my neck and slapped me several times. I fell down,” Kotal said.
Teachers and students who witnessed the attack informed security personnel, who rescued him.
Kotal said: “I tried to explain to the attackers that as a responsible citizen, I had the freedom to protest gruesome incidents of rape. But they kept on asking me: ‘Keno gechis michile bol, keno gechis michile bol (Why did you attend the rally, tell us).’”
Kotal lodged an FIR at Jorasanko police station today.
“Cases of assault and criminal intimidation have been lodged under Sections 323 and 506 of the IPC. Complainant Swadesh Kotal has named Tirthapratim Saha in his complaint,” an officer said.
Vice-chancellor Suranjan Das said he had no knowledge of the alleged attack.
Tamaghna Ghosh, the general secretary of the TMCP’s state committee, denied the allegation. “The allegation is completely baseless,” he said. Saha was not available for comment.
No arrests have been made yet.
The district inspector of schools of North 24-Parganas today show-caused the head teacher of Kamduni Primary School, Pradip Mukherjee, for organising a procession of students on June 13 to protest the rape and murder of a college girl in Barasat.
Manik Bhattacharya, the president of the West Bengal Board of Primary Education, said the state government had in 2011 banned the practice of taking school students for processions during school hours.
The students of Kamduni Primary School had marched to the spot where the girl was gang raped and lit candles under a tree.
“Stern action will be taken against the teacher for involving the students in the rally,” Bhattacharya said.
Kamduni village was abuzz today with discussions on yesterday’s march in Calcutta.
Aged men and women who could not participate in the procession were seen watching pictures of the march clicked with cellphone cameras by local youths.
“I stayed at home yesterday. When some of my neighbours today showed me photographs of the march, I applauded. Our village is grateful to the participants of the rally,” said Tumpa Kayal, who became the face of Kamduni’s protest after she sought an assurance from chief minister Mamata Banerjee on security of women.
Kamduni resident Ratan Naskar said: “On June 16, the chief minister promised us that action would be taken against the accused within a month. We will launch a movement if the chief minister fails to keep her word.”
Ansar Ali, the prime accused in the Barasat rape and murder case, was remanded in 14 days’ judicial custody by a court today.