The Patna College administration on Monday pleaded police and the university to act tough against the four youths accused of molesting a girl on the campus and evading arrest for the past four days. A morning raid at Jackson hostel on Monday also proved futile.
Sources said the police were yet to take any legal action against the accused though an FIR has been lodged. Patna University (PU) has not taken any punitive action either.
One of the accused named in the FIR is said to be an illegal occupant of Jackson Hostel of the college and the police are looking for him.
Sources in the college said the three students — Satyam alias Ujjwal, Amardeep and Mritunjay Kumar — were served showcause notices, which they have to reply by 5pm on March 5.
On March 1, two girls, out on a morning stroll on the grounds of Patna College, were abused and molested by the four. The youths then severely assaulted six boys, including the brother of one of the girls, who had rushed to help after hearing their cries.
Station house officer (SHO) of Pirbahore police station S.A. Hasmi said: “The FIR has been lodged against the four accused but they are absconding. Action is taken in such cases depending on their nature. In bailable offences, students get parole, leaving the police helpless.”
City superintendent of police Jayant Kant said: “On several occasions, students are arrested on the basis of complaints by the university. But it is the university’s duty to restrict them. Instead, they are even allowed to appear in the examination.”
Countering the claims of the police officers, Patna College principal Rash Bihari Prasad Singh said: “After any incident, the college administration registers complaint against the students involved. But it is the duty of the police to take action. The police never take action and students against whom FIRs are lodged roam freely on the college campus.”
The principal added: “There are more than six students, mainly boarders of Jackson and Minto hostels, against whom FIRs have been lodged but you can easily find them on the campus. Whenever the police conduct raids on the hostels, the illegal boarders manage to escape.”
Shifting his focus towards the lackadaisical attitude of the varsity administration, principal Singh said: “The varsity never takes strict action against students involved in creating trouble even after the recommendation of the colleges concerned. The university sits on such recommendations and in the end, no action is taken against the accused.”
The principal’s statements could be traced back to December 2011, when the college had to backtrack from its decision after recommending the suspension of nine students involved in a campus brawl.
The accused had beaten up Ashish Sinha, the son of BJP MLA from Kumhrar Assembly constituency, Arun Kumar Sinha. The incident occurred on December 13, 2011, during the selection trials for the university cricket team on the Patna College campus.
The university, however, put the onus on the college administration for not taking action against the students involved in such incidents.
Taking a stand on the part of the university, proctor Kriteshwar Prasad said: “Respective colleges have been given power to take action against troublemakers. If the colleges don’t take action, the university cannot be blamed.”
Prasad said: “The police also do not act swiftly and strongly when FIRs are lodged against students. You can easily find many students roaming on the college campuses against whom FIRs have been lodged but the police have not arrested them.”
Students of Patna College, meanwhile, claimed that the hostel boarders create the maximum trouble in the college. A student of Patna College, on condition of anonymity, said: “While allotting hostel rooms to students, the college should be strict and ensure that only genuine students get accommodation.”