The Visva Bharati Students' Unity, comprising Left-wing students, has filed a police complaint against Vice-Chancellor Bidyut Chakraborty, accusing him of asking some people to teach a lesson to certain Left-leaning students of the central varsity.
A video clip containing the purported conversation was also submitted to the police. While Chakraborty could not be contacted, a Visva Bharati spokesman said on Sunday that the video was "doctored" and was intended to "malign" the image of the institution and people at its helm.
The video, circulated on social media, was purportedly shot on January 7, during a campus walk led by Chakraborty to uphold the image of the institution, a day before Leftist students stalled a seminar on Citizenship (Amendment) Act where BJP Rajya Sabha MP Swapan Dasgupta was invited to deliver a lecture.
In the video, the voice of a man walking in brisk pace, was heard telling someone, "Do come tomorrow at the 3.30 pm lecture, to stop them from creating trouble. Arrive with your bike battalion, and if needed, give them some medicine." SFI leader of Visva Bharati unit, Somnath Sau, on Sunday alleged that the voice was that of Chakraborty who had hatched a conspiracy to "Teach the Left students protesting against the new citizenship law and prevent them from demonstrating against the lecture of Swapan Dasgupta on January 8." He also demanded legal action be initiated against the VC.
The complaint was filed at Santiniketan Police Station on January 24. It was alleged that Chakraborty was seen speaking to one of the three persons, who was arrested in connection with violence in the campus on January 15 and hence the VC's complicity in the attack on students cannot be ruled out. Sau said the police accepted the complaint but did not register a case.
The Visva Bharati Students Unity, in an open letter to the "extended family of alumni, ashramites, students, professors and non-teaching staff", has given a call for a protest rally in the campus on January 27 to press for the demand for resignation of the VC. Senior Visva Bharati professor and Left academician Sudipta Bhattacharya said, "The authenticity of the video and the voice needs to be probed." He, however, said since one of the persons arrested after the January 15 clash between two groups of students was seen walking with the VC during the January 7 march inside thecampus, that "aspect should not be overlooked during the probe which should be impartial and quick." A senior Arts department professor, not wishing to be named, however, claimed that the Left was attempting to vitiate the academic atmosphere of Visva Bharati "by deliberately creating disturbances within the campus for past few months. "Now they are trying to discredit a distinguished historian like Bidyut Chakraborty but they won't succeed."