Ranchi/Jamshedpur, Sept. 9: A day after the Sikkim Manipal Institute of Technology was shut after a series of clashes, students from the state have started leaving the campus near Gangtok even as Governor K. Sankaranarayanan directed the chief secretary to talk to the Sikkim government to ensure the safety of boarders from Jharkhand.
At least eight students were injured in the clashes between boarders and day scholars that was triggered on Sunday after a minor dispute during a volleyball match.
On the instructions of the Governor, state chief secretary Shiv Basant spoke to his Sikkim counterpart Jasbir Singh, who said that only six students from Jharkhand sustained minor injuries. All were released from hospital after proper treatment.
At least 90 per cent of boarders at the institute were from Bihar, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh, Singh confirmed. Around 300 of them belonged to Jharkhand.
According to a Raj Bhavan communiqué, Basant was also told that the situation was under control and instructions had been given to the Singtam district administration to provide security to, and ensure the safety of, all students, including those from Jharkhand.
The hapless students — several of them studying in first semester — who left the campus this morning were now on their way back home.
The Telegraph tracked one of them, Nirmal Kumar (name changed), in New Jalpaiguri.
Following the dispute in the match, a junior local student called goons from outside and launched an attack on us with hockey sticks and iron rods on Monday afternoon. The situation on the campus was tense though policemen were deputed. This morning, we took a taxi to reach Gangtok, which is 35km from our college, the son of a Jamshedpur doctor said, relieved after having reached Bengal .
Other day scholars also stopped the ambulance carrying injured students to hospital. They dragged them out and beat them up again, Nirmal alleged, adding six of his friends were also coming back to the steel city.
The college administration — which failed to broker peace even after involving the local administration — had arranged two buses for taking the students to Gangtok from the campus at Mazitar.
But the terrified students refused to board the bus as they were told that they could be attacked on their way to Gangtok, said one of them. They later organised a taxi to reach New Jalpaiguri.
Meanwhile, Ramgarh deputy development commissioner Paramjeet Kaur today rushed to Mazitar, as her son Harshpreet Singh, was reportedly injured in the clash. I will be in a position to talk in detail only after I see my son hail and hearty, Kaur said.
Former Indian Medical Association vice-president Ajay Kumar Singh supported Kaur saying several of his relatives and friends had admitted their wards in the institute. Sometimes labourers of the state going to earn their breads come under the attack, sometimes students, Singh said.