Kolkata: Even as the political parties appealed for calm in the wake of protests being staged by Trinamool Congress against the manhandling of its leaders by the SFI activists in Delhi yesterday, violence was reported from Kolkata when TMC and CPM supporters clashed in the Presidency University here.
According to reports, the clashes erupted when TMC supporters ransacked labs at the Presidency College. Few students were also reportedly injured in the incident.
This come hours after Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee blamed the CPM backed cadre for manhandling her and TMC Minister Amit Mitra outside the Planning Commission office in Delhi on Tuesday.
Speaking to reporters, West Bengal Chief Minister said, “I was manhandled by the CPM cadres. The police did not allow me entry inside the Planning Commission office. I don’t know how things are planned.”
“There were some outside elements. The ruckus is being created by the CPM cadres. My party workers are holding peaceful protests in West Bengal. The CPM leaders are all hypocrites,” she said.
Mamata also told reporters that since she was unwell she would return to Kolkata today but will come to Delhi in future.
“I am leaving for West Bengal today. But I should say Delhi is not safe,” she said.
Minutes ahead of her brief interaction with media, West Bengal Governor MK Narayanan said the manhandling of Mamata Banerjee and other TMC Minister Amit Mitra by the SFI activists was premeditated.
“Attack on Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and senior TMC ministers was premeditated. The Left must tender an apology to the state’s Chief Minister over the incident,” West Bengal Governor M K Narayanan said.
The Governor also described the incident as a blot on democratic values.
The reaction from the state’s Governor comes as the ruling Trinamool Congress is holding protests across the state in condemnation of the alleged manhandling of Mamata Banerjee and Finance Minister Amit Mitra outside the Planning Commission office in Delhi by SFI activists on Tuesday.
The Trinamool Congress workers are staging rallies, holding protests in Kolkata and other parts of the state to protest against the SFI attack on their leaders.
Both, Mamata Banerjee and Trinamool Congress`s general secretary Mukul Roy have urged supporters to ensure peace at the rally.
Security has been beefed up in all sensitive areas to avoid any untoward incident. The Chief Minister is also expected to arrive in Kolkata anytime as she has cancelled her scheduled meeting with Finance Minister P Chidambaram.
Meanwhile, an FIR has also been registered against some SFI activists who were involved in attack over the Trinamool leaders. The SFI has also condemned the attack on the two senior TMC leaders and called for peace. The Left Front has demanded a probe into yesterday`s incident and demanded a judicial probe. The CPI-M has also called an emergency meeting to discuss the political situation.
Mamata Banerjee and the state’s Finance Minister Amit Mitra were heckled outside the Planning Commission office in the national capital by the SFI activists protesting a young comrade`s death in Kolkata allegedly in police custody.
Dozens of protestors from the SFI waited for the Trinamool Congress leaders outside the Planning Commission office and raised slogans against Mamata Banerjee when she came with Mitra and other ministers to meet the commission`s Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia.
Agitated students carrying placards pushed Mitra around and shouted slogans as he tried to enter the Planning Commission office, a stone`s throw from Parliament. In the melee, his white kurta was torn.
Banerjee later cancelled her scheduled meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, citing ill-health. Meanwhile, Mitra was Tuesday evening hospitalised at AIIMS after he complained of chest pain. He is said to be stable today.
The Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh also spoke to Mamata last night and expressed regret over the unfortunate incident.
The Chief Minister, who earlier was advised not to get down from her car and instead drive straight inside the complex, chose to walk through the agitators who were shouting "Mamata down, down".
Banerjee was also accompanied by Panchayat Minister Subrata Mukherjee and Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakim. They too were allegedly pushed around.
A fuming Chief Minister, who was surrounded by the angry crowd, later complained to Ahluwalia, who described the protest as "unwarranted".
When asked by reporters about the incident, Banerjee said, "These are hooligans...Left is playing dirty politics." They can`t stop me. They can kill me. They can`t stop me from discussing development issues of the state," a fuming Banerjee told reporters.
SFI leader Ritabrata Banerjee said, "Our protest is to show Mamata Banerjee that Sudipto Gupta`s death was not a petty matter. People are deeply concerned about what is happening in West Bengal."
Hours after the two TMC leaders were heckled by the SFI activists, the - CPM and SFI offices were targeted in West Bengal’s Habra. CPM`s district office in Siliguri was also vandalised, a former CPM leader`s car was ransacked in Sreerampore and a condolence meeting in Barrackpore for Sudipto Gupta, the 22-year-old activist who died last week, was disrupted.
The SFI protest followed the death in police custody of the organisation`s leader Gupta in Kolkata April 2.
Union Minister of State for Planning Rajiv Shukla condemned the incident outside the Planning Commission office and said, "It was wrong to use such meetings for political purposes".
CPI-M leadership sought to distance itself from the incident. "We do not approve of any personal targeting," CPI-M leader Nilotpal Basu said.
CPI leader Atul Anjan said people have a right to protest but there was no place for indecency.
With IANS inputs