Violence in Jadavpur University over screening of ‘Buddha in a Traffic Jam’

Violence erupted in Jadavpur University (JU) on Friday when Left student’s group clashed with right-wing nationalist over the screening of Anupam Kher starrer ‘Buddha in a Traffic Jam’.

Members of BJP’s student wing ABVP came to blows with students of Arts faculty and members of Democratic Students Federation (DSF) after the Vivek Agnihotri directed political drama was denied permission for pre-release screening by the authorities. The authorities refused to screen the movie in the varsity’s Triguna Sen auditorium in view of the prevailing model code of conduct in the state.   

ABVP members allegedly manhandled some girl students as the screened the movie in open-air on the campus amidst protests by students. The students claimed the campus had been invaded by outsiders and they had retaliated only after the girls were molested by them.

“ABVP students organised the screening like a political rally. They were raising pro-Modi and pro-BJP slogans,” Bitan Basu, a student of Film Studies department was quoted by a national daily.

Another student of Arts department, Payal Sarkar said, “When ABVP members did not get permission for the screening, they started raising slogans against us. They disrupted screening of a documentary on the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots. They said that if they can’t screen their film, we also can’t do the same.”

Students also held captive four ABVP members. University vice-chancellor Suranjan Das tried to pacify both groups and urged the students to release the four ABVP members, who were later escorted out of the campus by security personnel. The university authorities later in the night filed a police complaint against the four ‘outsiders’ for allegedly molesting female students.

The Jadavpur University campus had witnessed trouble in February during a demonstration in support of the controversial intolerance incident in Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University.