Three ABVP activists were arrested by Kolkata police on Saturday charges of alleged molestation after clashes broke out on Jadavpur University campus in Kolkata on Friday night over the screening of Vivek Agnihotri’s film Buddha in a Traffic Jam.
The film was supposed to be screened at the Triguna Sen Auditorium on campus by the ABVP students under the “Think India” banner, but later the permission was cancelled by Vice-Chancellor Suranjan Das’ office following intervention by the Alumni Association, citing the election “model code of conduct” in place in the state.
Following this, protesters, mainly belonging to the Left parties, entered into a scuffle with the organisers belonging to the ABVP. However, amid protests, the film was screened, even as the protesters held a parallel screening of Muzzafarnagar Baaqi Hain. A few students were also reportedly held “hostage” by the protestors inside the campus, following which BJP leaders led by Roopa Ganguly arrived at the campus demanding their release. Director Vivek Agnihotri was heckled and sustained physical injuries while entering the campus.
Roopa Ganguly told this correspondent, “The scene on Friday night was horrifying. Several of our young students have been injured and some are even hospitalised due to violent protests by the left wing students. Our campuses are turning into a hub of political activities and such kind of politics is ruining the young minds of Bengal.” Krishanu Mitra, state BJP spokesperson, told The Sunday Guardian: “Why did the vice chancellor cancel the permission for screening? Is he being dictated by some Left-minded lumpen elements?” “They (university authorities) have cited the election code of conduct for cancelling the permission. But universities are places for research work and films are also a subject of research,” Mitra added. An ABVP delegation met the Governor of West Bengal on Saturday evening to seek his intervention in the matter. According to sources, the governor has assured to look into this matter and ensure peace in the JU campus. Sources said that a delegation has also met senior police authorities in Kolkata seeking bail for the persons arrested. The film aims to “expose the nexus between NGOs, Naxalites and the academia”.