The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Students fire beat-up salvo at top cop

Behrampore, March 31: Students of the Domkal Engineering Institute of Technology have accused the chairman of its governing body, senior IPS officer Nazrul Islam, of inciting locals to beat up students who are demanding the reinstatement of their director.

The students alleged that, last evening, Islam incited residents of his village — Ramana-Basantapur — to assault 16 male and female students. Three of them were admitted to hospital. The students also claimed that the Domkal police station did not register their complaint.

When contacted in Calcutta, Islam, deputy inspector-general of police (organisation), said the students had been incited by the outgoing director against whom the governing body had received charges of irregularities. “The students were turning violent and I tried to intervene and got injured in the process,” he said.

“The institute’s administration had wrongfully released the director, Amarnath Sanyal,” alleged Pranay Kundu, a second-year student. “The standard of education also needs to be improved. We had sat on a peaceful hunger strike on these issues, but members of the Ramana-Basantapur Education Society suddenly attacked us with lathis. Islam himself asked them to beat us up. He dragged me into his office and yelled at me that he would see to it that I was kicked out,” claimed the student.

The injured students include Debabrata Das from Calcutta’s Garia area, who has a broken arm, Sumanta Biswas from Bongoan, who has been injured in the head, and Debashree Sarkar, who lost consciousness after being kicked in the stomach.

The students allege that their guardians pay Rs 33,200 a year as tuition fees but classes are hardly held and laboratory facilities are inadequate. “After repeated pleas to improve the conditions, we had no option but to go on a hunger strike,” Kundu said.

Institute registrar Baijit Hossain said the director had put in his papers on two previous occasions. “Sanyal did not want to continue,” Hossain said.

Islam has been instrumental in improving the Ramana-Basantapur area. Since he joined the Indian Police Service, Islam has helped set up the first primary school there. He has also assisted the locals in establishing a degree college, a polytechnic, junior basic training school and the engineering institute.

The Murshidabad police superintendent said Domkal police had erred in refusing to register the students’ complaint. “We are looking into the episode and the police have made a diary today,” he said.

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