Reported by Santosh Jagdev
Bhubaneswar, Oct 1 :
Ekamra College was closed sine die and students’ union polls cancelled after a group of students angry over the rejection of two presidential candiates’ nomination papers, ransacked the office, classrooms and laboratory equipment of the college. Later the violent mob set two rooms on fire and even clashed with the police.
According to reports, Ashutosh Swain and Sunil Khuntia, who had filed their nomination papers for the post of president of the students’ union on Monday did not find their names on the final list published on Tuesday. ” We asked the college authorities about the rejection of our candidature, but they did not have any convincing argument”, said an aggrieved Ashutosh Swain.
This let to a tense situation as hundreds of students supporting the two rejected candidates rallied behind the two rejected candidates and wanted the college authorities to review their decision. When no reconciliation was possible, the students turned violent and went berserk.
A local police unit which reached the spot immediately tried to persuade the students not to indulge in violence. ” But they were in no mood to listen”, said a police official. ”
” They started pushing and beating up our men and some of them even damaged a PCR bike . That is what led to a brawl”, the police official told OST.
Five students along with three policemen were injured in the clash.
Property worth Rs 50 lakh has been destroyed by the students, said college principal Chitta Ranjan Panda. “We decided to cancel the students’ union poll for this year and decide to close the college sine die.”, he said.
Sahu said the aspirants’ nominations were rejected as they had police cases pending against them in the Airfield police station and our decision was in accordance with the Lyngdoh commission guidelines.
The campus was handed over to the police after the incident.
According to Inspector-in-charge of Airfield police station Rashmi Ranjan Sahu, three students of the college were arrested for rioting, ransacking college campus, vandalism and attacking the police.
The arrested students were identified as Raka Parida, Debashis Mohapatra and Harihar Biswal. All the three are Plus3 students, police sources added. However, police said warrants has been issued against 20 students.