Universities in West Bengal won't observe 'Surgical Strike Day' as directed by UGC, says minister Partha Chatterjee; calls it 'BJP's agenda'

The UGC direction to universities to mark September 29 as 'Surgical Strike Day' is a part of the BJP's 'political agenda' and educational institutes in West Bengal will not observe the day, state Education Minister Partha Chatterjee.

Press Trust of India September 21, 2018 15:27:50 IST
Universities in West Bengal won't observe 'Surgical Strike Day' as directed by UGC, says minister Partha Chatterjee; calls it 'BJP's agenda'

Kolkata: The UGC direction to universities to mark September 29 as "Surgical Strike Day" is a part of the BJP's "political agenda" and educational institutes in West Bengal will not observe the day, state Education Minister Partha Chatterjee said on Friday.

Chatterjee criticised the BJP-led central government for trying to "malign and politicise" the Army. The BJP said the TMC government has made it a practice to oppose each and every decision of the central government.

Universities in West Bengal wont observe Surgical Strike Day as directed by UGC says minister Partha Chatterjee calls it BJPs agenda

File photo of West Bengal education minister Partha Chatterjee. PTI

On 29 September in 2016, the Indian Army carried out "surgical strikes" on seven terrorist launchpads across the LoC as a response to an attack on its base in Uri earlier that month. The Indian Army had said its special forces inflicted "significant casualties" on terrorists waiting there to cross onto the Indian territory.

"This is an agenda of the BJP and it is trying to push this agenda by using the UGC ahead of elections. It is a matter of shame that they are using the UGC to achieve their political agenda. We won't abide by the directions of UGC," Chatterjee said.

The University Grants Commission (UGC) on Thursday directed varsities and higher educational institutions across the country to observe 29 September as "Surgical Strike Day". Talk sessions by ex-servicemen about sacrifices by the armed forces, special parades by NCC and visit to exhibitions are among the prescribed events by the UGC for the celebration.

Chatterjee said, "We would have understood it had they asked us to observe the day in the name of sacrifices made by our soldiers. We have full respect for our soldiers and their sacrifices."
"The Indian Army has always been kept above politics and controversies. But now we are seeing that the BJP is trying to malign and politicise the Indian Army. This is not right and we won't support it," he said.

Reacting to the allegations, BJP state president Dilip Ghosh said the TMC government has made it a practice to oppose each and every decision of the Centre. "Earlier also, we had seen Bengal government opposing directions by the UGC. This is not new," he said.

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