Saturday’s attack on Patna University (PU) vice-chancellor (VC) Shambhu Nath Singh by All India Students’ Federation (AISF) members in police presence has drawn shock, criticism and anger from teachers and students of the varsity.
Sources said when the incident took place, a large number of police personnel were present at the varsity office. The district administration had deployed them as a precautionary measure against AISF’s hunger strike.
The teaching and students’ fraternity have expressed strong resentment against Saturday’s incident.
Sources added that AISF members left the campus ending their fast on Saturday night, fearing retaliation by students who condemned the attack on the VC.
Protesting the attack, the Patna University Teachers’ Association (Puta) has called a token strike on Monday demanding the arrest of the AISF members involved in the attack.
Puta general secretary S.B. Lal said: “Attacks on teachers and varsity officials have increased over the past few months. It is an issue of serious concern for the government.”
Lal said in September 2012, then Patna College principal Lal Keshwar Prasad Singh was allegedly roughed up by some AISF members protesting against allotment of hostel accommodation in the new format. Police complaints were lodged against some AISF members but they were not arrested. He added: “The lodging of FIRs against protesters has become just a formality. No arrest is made and the accused can be seen moving freely on the varsity campus.”
The Patna University Students’ Union (Pusu) has strongly protested against the incident and held a meeting on Sunday which was attended by all Pusu members except Pusu representatives backed by AISF.
Terming the incident “unfortunate”, Pusu president Ashish Sinha said: “The hunger strike by AISF members was uncalled for when the varsity has got elected representatives after a gap of 28 years.”
On its defence, the AISF termed the incident a bid to “defame” the organisation. AISF state secretariat member Sushil Kumar said: “When the incident happened, Pusu general secretary Anshu Kumari and Pusu vice-president Anshumaan Singh were attending the Pusu meeting at Darbhanga House, while they have been named in the FIR.”