Patna College authorities have threatened to declare an indefinite shutdown at the institute in the wake of frequent unrest by students.
“Every day, students hold protests and threaten teachers and me. This cannot continue. The college has taken a decision and will not roll it back. If things go like this, we will have to shut the college down for an indefinite period,” principal Lal Keshwar Prasad Singh said on Tuesday.
The latest in the string of disturbances on the campus was on Tuesday afternoon when the students gheraoed the principal and a car carrying Patna University (PU) vice-chancellor (VC) Shambhu Nath Singh and Namwar Singh, a Hindi literature critic, for more than half an hour as a mark of protest.
Namwar Singh had been invited for a lecture series at the college as a part of 150th anniversary celebrations.
“The college had been alert and a large group of policemen was deputed at the college since morning. Around 12 noon, a group of around 60 students arrived on the college campus and reached the auditorium. However, the programme was over by then. Namwar and the VC were about to leave the campus in a car when the group stopped them right in front of the college gate and started raising slogans,” a source told The Telegraph.
“Singh and the VC could not get out of the car for more than half an hour. Thereafter, Namwar was taken out of the campus in another vehicle and the police prevented the protesting students from stopping it. The VC was next to leave. But the students followed the principal to his office raising slogans. Patna City superintendent of police Jayant Kant reached the spot and police took control. The cops did not use force as the same could have turned the situation volatile,” the source said.
College principal Singh said the college’s recent decision to allot its four hostels in accordance with the academic performance and academic year of the students created a furore with a large section of students continuing their protests, abusing teachers and the principal and frequently disrupting the day-to-day functioning.
The VC said the shutdown of the college was a possibility. “Right now we are not interfering with the internal affairs of the college. But the present situation is bad and the college could be closed down if such conditions persist. The new session can take more time to start if the situation remains the same,” he said.
A shutdown at the institute can delay the new academic session, slated to start from August.