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Photo: Mint

CISF asks Visva Bharati to request home ministry for paramilitary deployment

  • The response comes following the HRD ministry asking the university to deploy CISF for maintaining law and order
  • For the last several months, students and authorities in the central university have been at logger heads

NEW DELHI : The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) has told the Visva Bharati University to follow the protocol and request the ministry of home affairs for deployment of paramilitary forces in the university campus.

The response comes following the human resource development ministry forwarding a letter for the central university in West Bengal to deploy CISF officials for maintaining law and order situation in the university, a political sensitive subject that has gathered much debate in recent months.

The university vice chancellor Bidyut Chakrabarty had recently written to the CISF via the HRD ministry alleging that central paramilitary continent deployment is a need as private security personnel employed by the university owe their allegiance to "TMC local bosses". Chakraborty declined to comment on the development.

“CISF has received the letter of the university and have replied to them to follow the protocol. The university needs to write to the Home Ministry for approval, following which only CISF personnel can be deployed," a government official familiar with the development said Thursday requesting anonymity.

For the last several months, students and authorities in the central university have been at logger heads. While students unions affiliated to Trinamool Congress and Left parties are blaming the University of following a path of safronisation, university administration has voiced concerned over growing disobedience in the varsity and ignored calls from students unions on why it invited local BJP leaders to attend some of the functions.

Paramilitary or policy forces are generally not allowed inside educational campuses and their presence is seen as an attempt to curb dissent and opposition. This is for the first time that the HRD ministry has favoured a university request on paramilitary force deployment in the campus. Previously, it had declined to entertain a request from the Banaras Hindu University to deploy paramilitary forces when the university had requested in 2017 following campus violence.

Another government official said that the situation in BHU and Visva Bharati are “little different – while the former saw a sudden campus violence, the Bengal institution is facing a structural violence backed by some regional political forces".

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