Kolkata police sets up SIT to probe vandalism at Vidyasagar college

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Published: May 16, 2019 9:19:43 PM

The Kolkata police on Thursday set up a special investigation team (SIT) to probe the vandalism of Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar statue during BJP president Amit Shah's roadshow on Tuesday.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee inspects the vandalised statue of Bengali writer and philosopher Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar. (PTI Photo)

The Kolkata police on Thursday set up a special investigation team (SIT) to probe the vandalism of Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar statue during BJP president Amit Shah’s roadshow on Tuesday. Kolkata Deputy Commissioner will head the SIT.

Kolkata witnessed widespread violence on Tuesday during BJP president Amit Shah’s massive roadshow in the city. A statue of the 19th century Bengali reformer Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar was vandalised during the clashes at the college named after him.

Addressing a rally at Mathurapur in West Bengal on Thursday, PM Narendra Modi claimed, “It was the TMC goons who were involved in vandalism. They were the ones to desecrate the bust of Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar. The police officers are trying to wipe out evidences of the incident to protect the TMC goons.” Modi also promised to install a “grand statue” at the same spot.

However, his pledge received an immediate response from West Bengal CM. “Modi has promised to rebuild the Vidyasagar statue in Kolkata. Why should we take their (BJP’s) money? Bengal has enough resources,” she said at a rally.

The desecration of the statue triggered a fierce war of words between the BJP and the Trinamool Congress. The ruling TMC claimed that the BJP president brought outsiders for his road show in Kolkata and they were responsible for the violence in the city. The Mamata Banerjee-led party also released videos to ‘prove’ that ‘BJP goons’ damaged the statue. In a letter to the Election Commission, the TMC alleged that the armed attack was pre-planned and organised by BJP. One of the videos shows a group of men purportedly trying to enter the college campus by jumping over its walls.

On the other hand, Shah alleged that TMC was involved in vandalising Vidyasagar’s statue and unleashing violence as part of a conspiracy to blame the BJP.

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