Reported by Chinmaya Dehury/Edited by Sandeep Sahu
Bhubaneswar, Sep 5:
In the backdrop of recurring clashes between student groups, Utkal University today decided to cancel the students’ union election for the second consecutive academic year. The election in the state’s premier university was cancelled last year due to student unrest.
The decision was taken today after a detailed discussion by the PG Council of the university.
What prompted the decision of the university authorities was yesterday’s unrest in the campus, sources said. The university was compelled to take such a step to prevent clashes and avoid entry of non-students inside the campus, they said.
As many as six students were hospitalized and two motorcycles damaged following a clash between two groups of students yesterday. The unrest is said to be the sequel to a clash between some students two days back.
Earlier in the day, university authorities discussed with Commissionerate Police elaborate security arrangements in the campus and prevention of entry of anti-socials inside the campus, who often indulge in violence with the help of some student groups.
The cancellation of election has dampened the spirits of both aspiring candidates and students at large. The students have decided to raise their voice against the decision of the varsity administration and demand election for the students’ union.
“The university authorities cannot cancel election without hearing our voice. We demand election of students’ union as it is our legitimate right. Besides, it is the forum for us to press our demands and discuss the problems of students in the university,” said a student of Utkal University.
Meanwhile, the youth wing of the state BJP today met DGP Prakash Mishra and demanded strict action against the culprits and action on pending FIRs to bring back normalcy in the Vani Vihar campus.
“The academic atmosphere of campus has been marred by frequent clashes with the entry of outsiders, non students and hooligans. Action against the culprits is the need of the hour. To bring back confidence among genuine students, let a special drive be taken to bring back proper academic atmosphere there,” said Umakanta Patnaik, president of BJP youth wing.