Police crackdown on Jadavpur students: BJP wants judicial probe

Kolkata : The BJP Thursday slammed Kolkata Police Commissioner Surajit Kar Purakayastha for claiming there was no baton-charge on demonstrating Jadavpur University students, and demanded a judicial inquiry into the violent crackdown.

Many students of the prestigious university were hospitalised after police allegedly beat them up early Wednesday for laying siege to Vice Chancellor Abhijit Chakrabarty’s office while seeking a fresh inquiry into the purported sexual harassment of a female student on the campus last month.

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Following a widespread backlash over the crackdown, Purakayastha during the day held a press conference, and asserted that there was no baton-charge or assault on the students and claimed “armed outsiders” were present among the demonstrating students.

State Bharatiya Janata Party president Rahul Sinha claimed Purakayastha’s assertions were “blatant lies” and demanded the Mamata Banerjee government to initiate a judicial probe into the incident.

“Toeing the lines of the ruling Trinamool Congress, the police commissioner is dishing out blatant lies. It is outrageous for him to claim the students were not baton-charged or assaulted. We demand the state government to immediately order a probe headed by two high court judges for the truth to come out,” Sinha said.

Sinha had Wednesday met Governor and ex-officio university chancellor K.N. Tripathi seeking Chakrabarty’s removal as vice chancellor.

Meanwhile, state Education Minister Partha Chatterjee endorsed the police chief’s views that there was no baton-charge or assault on the students and said he has sought a report from the vice chancellor.

“On the basis of video footage and police reports, it is evident there was no lathi-charge,” Chatterjee said, expressing his displeasure over the students’ agitation.

“We firmly believe that students should not be involved in anarchy on campus. They must put across their demands in a peaceful manner. In the past, a vice chancellor has been killed,” he said.