Kolkata, April 25: A woman college professor’s allegation that a former Trinamool Congress legislator flung a jug full of water at her following an altercation over teachers’ association elections in West Bengal has created a flutter here.
The incident allegedly happened in the teachers’ staff room of the Bhangar College in the neighbouring South 24-Parganas district Tuesday.
The professor, Debjani Dey alleged that she sustained an injury on chin when former Trinamool legislator Arabul Islam, president of the college governing body, barged into the staff room with some outsiders, abused her and then threw the jug full of water at her.
“While Islam had sent a list of teachers from the college to be nominated to the West Bengal College and University Teachers’ Association (WBCUTA), I had suggested to my colleagues that we should follow the earlier system of teachers electing their own representatives. This enraged him, and he sought me out in the staff room. After abusing me, he threw the jug which hit my chin. The injury is not serious, but I have got bruises,” said the Geography professor.
“I don’t know why he behaved this way. He could have discussed the matter with us. I was scared. And so, I did not dare to file a police complaint though we have complained to the WBCUTA,” she said.
Arabul, however, denied the allegations and called Debjani Dey a hardcore Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) activist.
“This lady spoke to me at a high decibel level, by pointing her finger at me. I only told her that she had no right to behave like this with the college governing body head. I also told her to lower her voice. That’s all. But she has now made these false allegations,” an aggressive Arabul said, raising his finger at the television camera.
Accusing a section of the CPI-M of framing the incident to damage the college, he said a section of the professors was hand-in-glove with the opposition party.
Regarding Dey’s chin injury, Arabul said: “I appeal to the media and others to take her leucoplast off. And see whether there is any injury. This is blatantly false.”
However, educationists and eminent persons sided with the teacher.
“We had asked for regime change when the Left Front was in power. But how can ‘partycracy’ be removed when such incidents take place? And how did the leader have the audacity to act thus if he did not have the stamp of approval from the highest levels of his party?” asked educationist Sunando Sanyal.
Stage and screen personality Kaushik Sen said: “This is alarming. Recent developments have shown us that this government is just doing an action replay of what their predecessors did. But the problem is Bengal does not belong only to the Trinamool and the CPI-M. We also reside here. And we are suffering.”
Another educationist, Ashokendu Sengupta said: “The way he was speaking with the mediapersons was highly objectionable. He himself was lifting his finger. Educated society cannot accept such behaviour.”
The incident is the latest in a series of developments which have besmirched the college and university campuses in the state.
Earlier, Trinamool men had allegedly beaten up a college principal at Raiganj and ransacked the room of a headmaster in Jadavpur, while members of the students’ wing of the CPI-M were said to have roughed up a college principal at Majdia.