Aug. 1: The students of Cotton College, Handique Girls’ College and Cotton Collegiate Government Higher Secondary School today demanded removal of all alcohol and tobacco shops from Panbazar.
They told reporters that many untoward incidents take place in the area under the influence of liquor.
At least six educational institutions, including Cotton College, Cotton Collegiate Government Higher Secondary School, Handique Girls’ College and Panbazar Girls’ High School, are located in the area which has four wine shops and two bars.
“These wine shops and bars are a major reason for all the anti-social activities in the area. We want these shops removed,” said Pradyut Bikash Gogoi, the vice-president of Cotton College Union Society.
The demand comes a few days after an “inebriated” chowkidar had beated up a few students of Anundoram Borooah Boys’ Hostel of Cotton College late in the evening over an alleged incident of ragging. The students, however, said their campaign had nothing to do with it.
CCUS general secretary Satyajit Barthakur said the Union government’s restriction on selling tobacco products within a radius of 100 meters of educational institutions has been violated in case of Cotton College.
The general secretary of the students’ union of Handique Girls’ College, Dipti Das, said although the atmosphere around their college had not been stained by the presence of wine and tobacco outlets, they had nevertheless come forward to express their solidarity for a just cause that involved students and educational institutions.
The students said they had submitted a memorandum to chief minister Tarun Gogoi, education minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and the deputy commissioner of Kamrup (metro), J. Balaji, on July 19. They said they would all seek support from different organisations soon.
“Now the environment of Cotton College is such that we have to bear with loud music blaring out of music systems in cars that pass on the roads around the campus. Sometimes people in inebriated state take to dancing at midnight near the college building and create loud and boisterous scenes,” Gogoi said.
The CCUS submitted another memorandum to Balaji, demanding removal of the parking lots in front of the college. The students also urged the administration to stop protesters from using the roads in front of Handique Girls’ College and Cotton College and demanded that the area be declare a “No horn zone”.
The memorandum also demanded that the traffic points in front of Manik Chandra Baruah administrative building and Krishnakanta Handique Boys’ Hostel should be made functional.