Oct 1, 2016

Campus violence over students' union polls

Express News Service
October 1, 2016

BHUBANESHWAR: Tension ran high in Maharishi College of Natural Law and Utkal University on Saturday as students protested the nomination list announced by the authorities for students' union election.
The college was closed sine die following violence on the campus. Earlier in the day, the college authorities decided to scrap the students' union election as nominations of most of the candidates were found invalid.
The papers of six candidates for the post of president were found invalid as their attendance was not above 75 per cent as per Lyngdoh Commission guidelines.
Similar was the case with three vice-president aspirants, secretary and other posts.
Nominations of only four aspirants were found valid and they were elected uncontested.
Following the announcement, the students went berserk and ransacked the college property besides pelting stones at some staff of the college. One of the staff was injured in the incident. Later, students staged a road blockade outside the college by burning tyres. While some students also damaged a car parked in front of the college, the blockade continued for three hours. Finally, the principal shut the college sine die. In Utkal University, students owing allegiance to Congress' student wing NSUI and BJP's ABVP staged demonstration on the campus alleging violation of Lyngdoh Commission guidelines. Despite criminal cases pending against BCJD supported presidential candidate Mahesh Prasad, his nomination was validated by the university authorities, they said. The authorities met again in the evening to discuss the issue. The candidature of Prasad was not cancelled on the ground that he was not convicted in any criminal case.
Protesting this, a group of students locked the Vice-Chancellor (VC), PG Council Chairman and some student advisory committee members in the VC's office for several hours. While NSUI members staged dharna outside the VC office, the AVBP members sat on agitation and burnt tyres outside the main gate. Two platoons of police force were deployed in the campus.
At Ramadevi Women's University, students owing allegiance to AVBP staged protest against cancellation of candidature of their aspirants. According to sources, the nominations of Chaya Kumari, president aspirant, Snigdha Mohanty (athletic secy), Itishree Mallik (cultural secy) and Rashmita Nayak (secy, social service guild) were cancelled for lack of 75 per cent attendance. Chaya, however, claimed that her attendance was more than 75 pc and accused the university authorities of deliberately cancelling her nomination. She accused teachers of supporting the candidates owing allegiance to a particular party.
Students' union election will now be held only in Utkal University, Rama Devi Women's University, Kamala Nehru College, Rajdhani College, Devray College and University Law College in the City.
Elections were already cancelled in Basic Science College, BJB College, Capital Law College, Ekamra College and City Women's College.


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