KOLKATA: West Bengal governor Jagdeep Dhankhar Tuesday wrote to chief minister Mamata Banerjee saying that he hangs his “head in shame” over the vandalism at Visva-Bharati campus and urged her to ensure “exemplary” action against the perpetrators.
He said a sense of panic is prevailing at Santiniketan and the officials of the central university are feeling insecure.
Visva-Bharati University authorities have decided to seek Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s intervention for the deployment of central security forces on its premises, a day after vandalism forced its closure, a top official of the prestigious institution said on Tuesday.
“Events of August 17, 2020, at Visva-Bharati University at Santiniketan have shaken all! Hanging head in shame, time to reflect where are we heading! There is panic prevailing in Santiniketan, and VBU officials are feeling insecure.” he wrote in his letter.
Santiniketan, he said, is the essence and pride of Bengalis, a source of solace, motivation and inspiration. “After every visit to this place, I felt elated and energised,” he said.
“How ironic! We could not protect it from the hooligans, who unleashed unprecedented vandalism of the worst nature without fear of police and administration … Undaunted by fear of law, they engaged in a spree of destruction, rampaging and ransacking the globally acclaimed abode of peace, a temple of knowledge; freely used heavy machinery and trampled the spirit emanating from the sublimity of Kabiguru. Such sad affairs of governance would haunt us for a long time,” Dhankhar said in his stinging missive.
Dhankhar dubbed the vandalism on August 17 over the univeristy’s decision to erect a wall around the ground where the century-old ‘Pous Mela’ was held as an “organised crime,” and urged Banerjee to watch the footage of the incident to understand the “enormity of the crime committed”.
“I would urge to take proactive stance and ensure exemplary consequences to the law breakers,” he wrote.
He wondered how it escaped the local administration’s attention. It is “equally baffling to note the non-responsive stance” of the district magistrate and the Birbhum district police superintendent, the chief secretary and home secretary of the state to the appeals of the VBU.
“Undoubtedly, we all need to work towards preserving the pristine character of the VBU and its premises so dear to Gurudev. Before taking shelter in the quotes of Gurudev, we need to emulate the values Kabiguru epitomised,” he wrote.


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