21st of August, Kolkata: Yesterday, as Chief MinisterMamata Banerjee was entering Presidency University to attend the inaugural ceremony of Presidency University’s third convocation at Derozio Hall, she was greeted with black flags and graffiti in the portico by protesting students. With the arrival of the CM’s convoy of police cars, the protesting students were assaulted by the police. The CM then entered the auditorium, and stated, “Do I have to be accountable why I have come here? They have invited me. Why shouldn’t I go (to the campus)? There is no reason to think that everyone should like me. But why won’t I come?”
When the CM was leaving after the ceremony, the protesters barricaded the CM. The police then proceeded to molest the protesters and beat them up severely, causing 4 students to need hospitalization for injuries suffered. The students then proceeded to gherao the VC, Anuradha Lohia, in her office, demanding her immediate resignation. After several hours of the gherao, the VC stated that she will only release a statement if the protesting students produce proof of molestation and assault by the police. This, despite the hospitalisation of 4 students due to injuries suffered from the beatings by the police. She also stated that she was not responsible for the assault on the students since the police were part of the CM’s convoy, when in fact, the CM had arrived upon Lohia’s invitation, and it was her responsibility to ensure the safety of her students.
The gherao of the VC lasted all night and is still ongoing. The convocation is scheduled to be held today at 11am.
The CM’s party, TMCP has organised a rally against the protesting students. The protesting students have asked for more students to attend the protest and show solidarity and strength in numbers.
The following images document last night’s events: