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Students clash on tech campus
- Five injured as altercation snowballs into fight

Siliguri, Oct. 28: Five students were injured after two groups clashed at the Siliguri Institute of Technology today following an altercation on a welcome programme to be held for newcomers at the end of this month.

The incident, the first in the institute which was set up in 2001 and does not have any student union, led to the disruption of classes as police arrived at the scene to tackle the situation.

Bikram Roy, a fourth-year student, suffered head injury. All the injured were rushed to the Sukna Health Centre and released after first aid. Bikram required a stitch on the forehead.

College authorities said an inquiry would be conducted.

“Considering the incident and the disruption of activities at the institution, it has been decided to set up an inquiry committee to investigate the matter,” said S. Dasgupta, the principal of the institute. “Once we assimilate the details, we will definitely take stern action against those found guilty. We have, however, not filed police complaints against anyone.”

A college faculty and a witness to the incident said a disagreement had cropped up between two groups of students regarding the Freshers’ Welcome. “This led to an altercation between the two groups on the college grounds and in no time it snowballed into a big fight.”

Soon more students got involved. They hit each other with fists and belts and five of them suffered injuries, the teacher added.

A committee of second-year students had been constituted to organise the welcome programme on the basis of names proposed by students themselves. A panel of teachers too, had been formed to oversee their activities.

The witness, however, could not say what exactly the altercation was all about. The students were also silent and chose to ignore questions put to them, dubbing it as an “internal matter of the college”.

The commotion continued for half-an-hour before a force arrived from the Sukna police outpost, located a couple of kilometres away, and brought the situation under control.

“It is an internal matter and we will resolve it among ourselves,” one of the students said.

The injured students, who went to Sukna Health Centre, gathered near the police outpost primarily with an intention of filing complaints against the attackers. However, after some time, the students stepped back and did not file the complaint, which sources said, was probably because of a negotiation, between the warring groups.

Bikram Roy. (Suman Tamang)

Police at the Sukna outpost said they had not received any FIR from the students. “We have not received any FIR from the college authorities or the students,” an officer said. “On hearing about the incident, we visited the SIT premises and brought things under control. The situation is normal in the institute now, but we are keeping a close watch.”

He said this was the first time that there has been trouble involving the students of the SIT. “There is no students’ union in the institution and we have never heard of any clashes taking place there ever since the SIT opened in 2001,” the officer said.

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