Shattered glass panes of a house near the JU hostel in Poddar Nagar. Picture by Sanat Kumar Sinha
Jadavpur University (JU) has decided on a series of measures to ease friction between its students living in a hostel in Poddar Nagar and residents of that area.
The university has decided to keep the hostel canteen open till 11pm instead of 9pm so that the boarders don’t have to step out at night to buy food.
The hostel terrace has been locked and the balconies facing Poddar Nagar covered with meshed grilles to prevent the students from throwing stones and bottles at nearby houses.
The authorities will also maintain a register at the main entrance to the hostel, which students will have to sign every time they enter or leave the premises.
The steps were announced after boarders and residents registered police complaints and took to the streets on Wednesday, accusing each other of harassment.
The university is also planning a slew of long-term measures, including relocation of some hostels and reducing the number of boarders in the Poddar Nagar building.
“We are exploring all possibilities to prevent a repeat of Tuesday and Wednesday’s incidents,” said Siddhartha Dutta, the pro vice-chancellor of JU.
“It is not possible to relocate all the hostels as land is not available near the campus. But we definitely need to work out a solution to the problem,” he added.
There are four hostel blocks in the area, housing nearly 600 male students.
The main block — meant for undergraduates — is located behind Jadavpur police station.
There are some hostels inside the JU campus too, including two for research scholars and girl students. The authorities are planning to shift the boarders of these two hostels to the Poddar Nagar premises.
It is also considering setting up a new hostel block near the campus to shift the undergraduate boarders in the Poddar Nagar hostel.
“There will be less trouble if there are lesser number of students in the Poddar Nagar hostel,” said a JU official.