Visva Bharati seeks CISF deployment on campus

Bolpur (West Bengal), Jan 19 : The Rabindranath Tagore founded Visva-Bharati University has decided to seek deployment of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) at its campus here in West Bengal's Birbhum district after two recent incidents of disturbance, a spokesman said on Sunday.

The Central varsity would approach the Union Human Resource Development Ministry for facilitating the deployment of the paramilitary force which is tasked to protect vital installations and infrastructure.

"Many people are saying that they are feeling insecured in Visva-Bharati. Keeping this in mind, we are taking measures, so that the CISF can be deployed in the Varsity as early as possible," the spokesman said.

On January 8, Rajya Sabha member Swapan Dasgupta, on a visit to the varsity to deliver a lecture on the new citizenship law, was confined by the CPM-affiliated Students Federation of India (SFI) activists for close to six hours inside a locked room of the institute here, about 160 kilometres from Kolkata.

Dasgupta, Vice Chancellor Bidyut Chakraborty, other varsity officials as well as BJP leader Dudhkumar Mondal were released from the Social Work department at Sreeniketan, a little distance away from the main campus at Santiniketan late in that night by the protesting students.

On January 15, two students having allegiance to the Left students unions of the varsity were allegedly beaten up with broken wickets, wooden rods and sticks in the hostel.

The SFI, however, strongly opposed the move.

"In the past also when there was talk of deploying the Central Reserve Police Force, then too we had opposed. This time also we will strongly oppose such deployment, not only in Visva-Bharati but also in any other educational institution in the country.

"If despite our opposition, they deploy the para-military, there will be an intense student movement," said SFI leader Somnath Shaw.

But RSS affiliate Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) backed the university authority's stand.

"First, Swapan Dasgupta was confined, and then, there was this attack in the hostel. Students are very scared. In the interest of safe education and safe campus, and for the security of the students, if administration has taken this step we welcome it," said ABVP leader Satkar Tripathi.

Polymath Tagore, the first non-European Nobel laureate and one who holds the unique distinction of having composed the national anthems of two nations - India and Bangladesh - founded the university in 1921.

(IANS)

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Visva Bharati seeks CISF deployment on campus