MP Babul Supriyo was blocked at the Jadavpur University in Kolkata on Thursday as he tried to enter the University premises. The scuffle broke out even as the Vice-Chancellor of the University was asking the students to remain calm. There were many students who were trying to heckle the Union Minister and were asking for NRC to be stopped, to which he said that he will not be making any comments on NRC at the moment over there.
Babul Supriyo is the Union Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change. He went to the University to participate in a program organised by the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP); he was stopped by the students and was surrounded and confronted by them who asked him to 'go-back', while also raising anti-NRC slogans. The students were seen waving flags of the Students Federation of India (SFI) and the All India Students Association (AISA). The Minister was heard asking the students to back off and not block him.
Addressing the anti-NRC slogans, he said that there were many among them who did not know the full-form of NRC and were trying to protest on the issue. Supriyo also made an analogy to local football clubs and great rivals Mohun Bagan and East Bengal while trying to point out that the opposition should be heard.
He said, "If there is no opposition in the country, then who will you fight with? I am your opposition. If Mohun Bagan and East Bengal don't enter the field, how will there be a football match? If you want to involve yourself in politics, then you need to allow the opposition to be heard as well. This is not the way to behave inside the University".
The Vice-Chancellor was later seen trying to pacify the Union Minister, to which Supriyo said, "I have not come here as a political speaker, I am a former student of the University and I am also a Minister." He added, "I'm sure you are a leftist". Supriyo was seen asking an activist to apologise since one of his cadres had hit him with a stick. He also prevented his security from taking any actions stating that the "protestors wanted exactly that" to provoke him.
Supriyo then made it inside the auditorium and later made a statement in Hindi on his Twitter account, translating to, "Whatever they (protesters) do, I will not be provoked. The role of the opposition in keeping democracy alive is as important as that of the ruling party, and it is necessary to listen to the differences patiently. Such behavior is inappropriate and reprehensible."