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Union clash at college counselling

Siliguri, June 21: Counselling of new students seeking admission to Siliguri College was stalled for an hour today after Chattra Parishad and Trinamul Chattra Parishad supporters clashed on the campus.

According to Chhatra Parishad supporters, the clash started at 11.30am when a group of Trinamul supporters from outside the college asked them to remove their helpdesks.

“We had installed three helpdesks on the campus to assist the students. Suddenly, around 10 Trinamul supporters, all outsiders, came and overturned the helpdesks and beat up our supporters, injuring two of them,” said Amit Talukdar, the district Chhatra Parishad president of Darjeeling.

The alleged Trinamul supporters countered the allegation, saying that the Chhatra Parishad supporters who came from outside had beaten up Prasenjit Mandal, the general secretary of their students’ union in the college and stopped the counselling proceedings.

“The Chhatra Parishad supporters manning the helpdesks were outsiders. When Prasenjit asked them to leave, they beat him up. They also stopped the counselling and demanded that they should be allowed to run the helpdesks,” said Uday Chakladar, the Trinamul students’ union in-charge of Siliguri College.

Seeing the groups clashing, college authorities called police who brought the situation under control. The counselling resumed at 1pm.

The clash left new students, who had come from Jalpaiguri and Kalimpong, disappointed. The college had started counselling for students to be admitted in first-year for honours courses, from yesterday.

“My name is on the merit list for history honours. I reached the college at 10am. It has been five hours and my turn is yet to come,” said a girl from Jalpaiguri. Some students from Kalimpong, who have their names in the merit list for political science honours, had to wait for another hour for the counselling.

The counselling session continued till 6.45pm.