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Governor discusses campus violence with Buddhadeb

Special Correspondent


Student union rivalries intensifying with Assembly polls scheduled in six months' time

While embracing democratic protest, Governor calls for a firm hand against violence


KOLKATA: The growing incidence of campus violence in different parts of West Bengal and the overall law and order situation in the State were the focus of a meeting between Governor M.K. Narayanan and Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee at Raj Bhavan here on Tuesday.

The 45-minute meeting was held within a week of the killing of a student belonging to the Students Federation of India (SFI), the student organisation of the CPI (M), and another's sustaining severe injuries in his eye, in two separate incidents of campus violence on the same day.

There has been an increase in the incidents erupting in campuses of different colleges across the State over the past few months, mostly occurring at the times of filing nomination papers for student union elections.

The rivalry between members of opposing student organisations has been getting fiercer with the critical Assembly polls due in the State in less than six months time.

While the Chief Minister has deplored such acts of violence, condemned the presence in campuses of outsiders and political leaders inciting violence, and called for putting an end to such acts, the Governor has clearly said that while he respects democratic protest there is no place for violence, “which will need to be put down with a firm hand”. Mr. Narayanan had said this last week, the day after the SFI member was killed over nomination of papers for the students' union election at a college in Andul in Howrah district.

“I am greatly worried and deeply grieved at the growing incidence of campus violence across the State…..History will not forgive us if we condone the violence being unleashed within and outside the universities and schools”, the Governor had said in a statement.

While the ruling Left Front has been accusing the principal Opposition party, the Trinamool Congress, of joining hands with insurgent forces such as the Maoists and of being responsible for the killing of 337 Left leaders and workers in the State since the Lok Sabha elections last year, the Trinamool has been calling for the Centre's intervention to stop the “terrorism being sponsored by the State government”.

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