The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Fresh clashes break out at tech college

Siliguri, April 24: Jalpaiguri Government Engineering College and its adjacent areas continued to witness incidents of violence following yesterday’s clashes between students and residents.

Sources said a few residents of the locality entered the campus today in retaliation to an alleged attack on them by the students last night.

“They charged at us again today, but were driven out by patrolling policemen,” said Subir Sau, the general secretary of the students’ union of the college. “The residents have levelled baseless allegations against us. We have not organised any attack on them.”

Classes at the college remained suspended today, with the students asked to remain in their hostels.

While charges and counter-charges flew around, around 150 policemen patrolled the area to keep the situation from getting out of hand. They also played a major role in defusing today’s flare-ups.

Additional superintendent of police of Jalpaiguri Tapas Das visited the area a number of times during the day.

“We had arrested four persons in connection with the incident yesterday. All of them were later released on bond. Our main concern is restoring normality in the locality,” said Das. “Though we had registered a suo motu case yesterday, both the college authorities and the residents have filed separate complaints today.”

Das added that in all five persons from the two sides suffered injuries during yesterday’s clashes.

Yesterday, it had all started with a dispute between a group of students and some local youths over the use of the college playground. After two of the outsiders were allegedly assaulted by the students, an angry mob from nearby areas had entered the college campus and ransacked classrooms, a laboratory, the library and the principal’s chamber and car, among other things.

The students, in turn, had allegedly ransacked houses and set fire to shops in Pareshpalli, Subhasnagar and Sanjoynagar Colony. Later at night, they had reportedly gone on another raid of the areas adjacent to the college, which provoked the residents to attack the college once again this morning.

The residents have also demanded compensation for the damage done to their houses and shops by the students.

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