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Police ‘rein in’ student protesters
- Tech school closes

Malda, Sept. 16: The authorities of Institute of Management and Professional Studies (IMPS) today shut down the engineering college for an indefinite period and asked its students and boarders to vacate the buildings and the hostels within 24 hours.

The decision follows yesterday’s violence in which police lathi-charged students demonstrating for better infrastructure and placement opportunities at the private college that was set up in 2001.

The students claimed that 50 of them were injured in last night’s clash. Three of them were hospitalised this morning for a few hours and released.

The would-be engineers had called an indefinite strike starting yesterday, pressing for their demands. The college authorities had called the representatives of the third and fourth year students for a discussion. However, the talks were inconclusive and the students started demonstrating on the campus. They claimed that their protests were peaceful but a large force from Englishbazar police station arrived around 9pm and beat them up.

“The forces were from both the Old Malda and Englishbazar police stations. They did not even spare the girls. No women constables were present,” said a student on condition of anonymity.

Malda police chief Dilip Mondal denied the charges. “We had been called by the college authorities to rein in unruly students, but we didn’t resort to lathicharge.”

While most students were willing to talk, none of them wanted to be named. One of them alleged that for the past two years, fake companies were being brought for placement interviews.

“Some of our seniors who were promised salaries in the range of Rs 30,000-Rs 40,000 per month ended up getting Rs 4,000. Not only that, we have a poor faculty and unequipped laboratories. These are putting off some of the good companies.”

Not only that, for students who have to pay Rs 30,000 as annual tuition fee, coughing up double the amount every year under the head of “other expenses” is difficult. “This is not what we were had been told during admission,” said a third year student.

The college authorities, however, denied the allegations. The coordinator of the college, Manik Chakrabarty, said the students had ransacked the campus on the pretext of protesting. “They burnt important documents and because of the damage we cannot run the college for now,” Chakrabarty said. He said the college did not charge anything extra and the “double amount” that the students were talking about comprised hostel and activity charges.

This morning The Telegraph found the boarders cooking in the open, having been told to vacate the hostel.

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