Minister threatened me: JU guard
A guard at Jadavpur University has alleged that Union minister Babul Supriyo had threatened him during last Thursday’s agitation on the campus, yelling at him: “Do you know who I am? What I can do to you?”
The minister allegedly told Nirnimesh Roy that he could get him sacked when the guard refused to call up vice-chancellor Suranjan Das while students were agitating against Supriyo.
When contacted by Metro, Supriyo said: “The guard was instigating the students while they were harassing me. He was even saying something derogatory about me over the phone. At that point I took the phone from him and put it in the VC’s shirt pocket. When he agreed to leave the spot I requested the VC to return the phone to him....
“I just requested him to give me the VC’s number so that I could call him (Das) up and apprise him about the stand-off.... I never told him (the guard) that I could get him sacked. I told him that if he did not perform his job properly, he could lose his job.”
Roy recounted his experience to Metro on Sunday.
I was stunned and felt humiliated by the way the minister spoke to me. He asked me to call up our VC and ask him to reach the spot where students were blocking the minister’s way. But I don’t have the authority to call up the VC. I tried to explain this to Mr Babul Supriyo but he started threatening me.
I was on duty at Aurobindo Bhavan (the administrative headquarters of JU), which is five minutes’ walk from KP Basu Memorial Hall.
Suddenly, we came to know that a chaos had broken out in front of the hall following Mr Babul Supriyo’s visit and our security in-charge asked us to rush to the spot.
I reached the spot around 3pm. By then the students had surrounded the minister on the concrete pathway opposite the hall, where he was to attend a programme.
The minister was telling the students they could not prevent him from entering the hall and that he was open to a debate with them on any issue.
Vice-chancellor Suranjan Das then arrived at the spot.
As the protesting students had formed a ring around the minister and there were many reporters, too, it took me time to wriggle my way through the crowd and get close to him.
By the time I could reach the minister, I heard that a student had pulled him by his hair. My superior, who was standing a few feet away, asked me to pass on the message to the minister that he would do well to accompany the VC to his chamber.
The VC was saying the same to the minister.
As I whispered the message to the minister, he asked: “Who are you?”
I told him I was a guard. The minister then asked me where I had been when he was being heckled. I tried to explain to him that I found it difficult to make my way to him through the protesters.
I again requested him to listen to the suggestion of the vice-chancellor and accompany him to his office. He paid no heed to my pleas and asked me to leave the spot.
When I informed him that it was my duty to stand next to him, he picked my mobile phone from my shirt pocket and put it in his pocket.
The VC then asked me to go away. I said I could only leave the spot after my phone was returned to me.
I left after the minister handed my phone back to me.
My next interaction with the minister took place on the ground floor of the hall, where students had detained him.
The minister asked me to call up the VC and tell him to reach the spot and end the stand-off. I expressed my inability to do so.
He shot back: “Tumi jano aami ke? Aami ki korte paari? Aami tomar chakri khetey pari. (Do you know who I am? What I can do to you? I can get you sacked.)