Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jul 25:
Five students and a policeman were injured following a clash between two groups of students, one of them allegedly consisting of several non-students, inside the Vani Vihar campus of Utkal University in the Odisha capital on Friday night.
Of the five injured students, two have been admitted to the Capital Hospital.
The overnight tension spilled over into this morning with the students’ union members gheraoing the vice-chancellor’s office demanding a complete ban on entry of outsiders into the campus.
“We are trying to restore normalcy in the campus. We are talking to the DCP on how to prevent the outsiders from entering the campus,” vice-chancellor AK Das said.
“We are here to teach. We cannot do policing. For that, we have to depend on the administration and the police. We have taken a few measures to prevent the entry of outsiders into the campus, but they have not been fully successful because it is a large campus measuring about 400 acres,” the vice-chancellor said.
Talking to the media persons after the meeting, the DCP said those involved in the incident would soon be identified and stern action would be taken against them.
Police have sealed all gates of the University and are keeping a close watch on the entry of the outsiders to the campus at the main gate.
Trouble started at about 10 PM yesterday when a group consisting of students and non-students came in 8-10 bikes and suddenly attacked inmates of the Gopabandhu Men’s Hostel, injuring one of them. Soon, the entire hostel rushed out and began a counter-attack forcing the intruders to flee leaving their bikes behind.
The irate hostel students later damaged eight bikes and set fire to three others left behind by the intruders.
Though the police rushed to the spot, tension continued in the campus till very late in the night. A police officer Abhaya Kumar Rout was injured as he tried to pacify the students. Police later drove the non-students and some of the University students out of the campus at about 1 AM.
Students of the both the groups have lodged separate complaints in Saheed Nagar police station.
Sources said there was a dispute between two student groups on the admission of a student, an ABVP leader, in the Post Graduate courses. To diffuse the tension, the PG Council had a meeting on Friday afternoon.
Tension prevailed inside the University campus when the two warring groups had a heated exchange of words. But there was no untoward incident as the policemen were deployed in and around the campus.
But the simmering tension took an explosive turn later in the night.
Meanwhile, PG Council chairman Ranjan Kumar Bal has said there would be a high level meeting today to resolve the standoff on issue of admission of the student.
“We have tried our best to diffuse the tension in the University. As per the rules of the University, no student is allowed to take admission again after completing his/her post-graduation course. We have come to know that a second year PG student has taken admission again leading to a dispute between two groups of students. Besides, the University authorities are unaware of the criminal records of the students. We will request the police to take necessary action to restore normalcy in the University. The University authorities, including the vice chancellor, registrar, PG Council Chairman, adviser and wardens will have a meeting today to discuss the about the incident,” Bal said today.