‘It Was Unintentional’: Student Who Pulled Babul Supriyo’s Hair

Supriyo had written to the student’s mother assuring her of no retaliation over her son’s actions.

Published23 Sep 2019, 01:56 PM IST
3 min read

A Jadavpur University student, who had allegedly pulled Union Minister Babul Supriyo's hair during an agitation by Left wing students at Jadavpur University said on Monday, 23 September, that there is no question of him apologising as he did not do it intentionally.

Debanjan Ballav, a student of Sanskrit College and member of Left radical United Democratic Students Front(UDSF), told reporters that it was Babul Supriyo who had threatened and abused him when he wanted to speak of the concerns about lakhs of people who were rendered homeless due to the NRC exercise in Assam.

In a letter, Babul Supriyo had assured the student’s ailing mother that no action will be taken against her son for his action.

"As I went forward and put the question to the minister, who was gesturing and arguing with students for showing him black flags, Mr Babul Supriyo became aggressive and instead asked me if I knew the full form of NRC. As he continued to speak in a rude manner, I protested and in the melee his security guards pushed me," Ballav claimed.

The student said that he had lost balance when he was pushed and might have touched the minister's hair while trying to straighten himself.

“It was unintentional. The video which went viral showing me pulling the union minister’s hair has been doctored by BJP’s IT cell. The video made it appear as if I had lunged towards him (the union minister) and pulled him by his hair.”
Debanjan Ballav, Student, Jadhavpur University

"There is no question of apologising to the central minister as I had not done anything wrong that day," he said.

Asked about his presence at JU on Thursday, Ballav claimed that he was there to attend a UDSF programme and joined the protest by its students in solidarity to "stop the entry of fascist forces in educational institutions".

The student, however, did not comment on his ailing mother Rupali Ballav pleading forgiveness from Supriyo for the "misconduct" of her son.

A UDSF spokesman said the students body will extend all legal help to Ballav.

BJP leader Agnimitra Paul, who had accompanied Supriyo to JU on that day and was present during the students' agitation, trashed Ballav's claims.

“It is clear in the video that he (Ballav) deliberately pulled Babulda’s (Supriyo) hair and kept threatening him. It is unfortunate that a son is disobeying his mother by refusing to apologise even though she had sought forgiveness and is concerned about his career.”
Agnimitra Paul, BJP Leader

"It is unbecoming behaviour of a student," Paul, also a well known fashion designer, told PTI.

Paul said she has lodged an FIR at the Kolkata Police cyber crime cell on Monday naming another student who has allegedly posted obscene comments against her on social network.

This is in addition to the FIR she had lodged at Jadavpur police station on Friday against unnamed persons for obstructing her way to the auditorium, she said.

The BJP leader said the the student had ridiculed her post in which she had narrated how she was pushed and manhandled on way to the auditorium in JU where a Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad programme was taking place on Thursday.

The student shared screen shots of her post and had asked whether she would hold a fashion show of torn clothes, Paul said.

"I found the post regressive and anti-woman and on Monday lodged a complaint at Lalbazar cyber cell," Paul informed.

Supriyo had on Saturday tweeted to Debanjan’s ailing mother that he will not harm the career of her son. She had urged the union minister on Friday to pardon her son as handing him over to the police would ruin his career.

Dear auntie, dont worry. I will not take any action that will harm the career of your son, Supriyo had said in a tweet on Saturday and attached to it a newspaper clipping about the request of the woman who lives in Barddhaman town.

I wish he learns from his mistake. Neither had I lodged any FIR against anybody, nor allowed anyone to do the same. Get well soon, Supriyo had said on the micro-blogging site.

The tweet had followed the video which showed Ballav arguing angrily with the union minister and pulling his hair on the university campus.

The BJP MP from Asansol had on Thursday expressed his outrage over the behaviour of the agitating students and described it as absolutely deplorable.

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