A B.Ed college and girls hostel was set ablaze by members of a club in Howrah on 6 January. Chief Minister Mamta Banerjee took cognizance of the matter and ordered tough action against the attackers.
The incident was a result of a property dispute between the Yuvak Sangha of Nischinda and CPM leader Bishnupada Das.
The college, Surendralal Das Teachers' Training college, was established by Das at Anandnagar, in 2005.
Reportedly, a plot inside the college compound is the matter of dispute as Das claims it belongs to his relative but the club insists upon getting access to it.
"Club members Sanjay Barui and Partha Banik demanded Rs 1 lakh from me before Durga Puja last year. When I refused to pay, they threatened to rape the women students in the hostel and burn them alive. On Monday, my vehicle was attacked. I lodged a complaint at Nischinda police station. The club members came to know of this and attacked today," a Times of India report quoted Das.
According to reports, the girls in the hostel were able to escape unharmed only because fire tenders arrived on time. The mob had first attacked the college by pelting stones and later forcibly entered the campus and ransacked classrooms, library, etc.
Around 40 girls remained trapped inside the hostel when they set it on fire. The teachers and other staff had fled the campus before the crowd entered the college building.