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Presidency poll fracas

Calcutta, Feb. 28: Results of yesterday’s elections to the Presidency College union have been withheld following allegations by the CPM’s youth wing that outsiders were brought in to vote as first-year postgraduate students.

A tribunal of college professors met today to decide whether there should be a re-election.

Late tonight, college authorities announced that no group would head the union for the time being. The matter has been referred to the governing body.

Pushan Das, president of the college unit of the Students’ Federation of India, said the Independents’ Consolidation (IC), which had claimed victory after the polls, brought in “false” voters. “We caught three of them red-handed. We can prove that they attended classes on Calcutta University’s Alipore campus,” he added.

The rival groups had clashed after the elections and former IC general secretary Sayantan Saha Roy and several supporters were beaten up. The violence prompted a mild lathicharge by police.

Deputy commissioner (headquarters) P.K. Chatterjee said a student of the college, Pramod Kumar Gupta, was reported missing by his family. A copy of the report has been forwarded to the local Jorasanko police station.

Police sources said another girl was also missing, as alleged by SFI supporters, but it is suspected that both these students are in hiding.

Yesterday, the IC had said it had won 38 of the 73 seats in the fray while the SFI had secured 33. Two seats had been declared tied between the SFI and the SUCI-affiliated All India Democratic Students’ Organisation. Principal Mamata Roy was unavailable for comment.

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