| The closed gates of Patna University on Monday. Picture by Nagendra Kumar Singh |
Patna University on Monday suspended eight students for allegedly assaulting vice-chancellor Shambhu Nath Singh.
The students — Vishwajeet, Sushil Kumar, Anshumaan Singh, Mahesh Kumar, Anish Kumar, Nikhil Kumar Jha, Anshu Kumari and Gopal Kumar — are all members of All India Students’ Association. Anshu is the general secretary of Patna University Students’ Union (Pusu); Anshumaan is the vice-president.
They have been asked not to come to the campus for a month. The disciplinary committee of the university would meet soon to decide their fate, which could be expulsion.
“Eight students who indulged in violence have been suspended for a month,” said Singh. “The disciplinary committee would meet soon to decide on their fate. They could be expelled.”
The group allegedly attacked the vice-chancellor on Saturday at the administrative building in the presence of policemen who reportedly did not intervene to help him. His bodyguard had to take out his pistol to rescue Singh.
This was, however, not the VC’s first encounter with violent students. “A week after he joined the university in August 2011, three students had roughed up Shambhu Nath Singh,” a university source said, adding that the malefactors were all passouts.
The source added: “The authorities ensured that they couldn’t pursue PhD from Patna University. Over the years, the disciplinary committee has forwarded many recommendations for reprimanding unruly students but no one has been expelled ever.”
Patna University has had a history of students turning violent. Since 2011, Patna College alone has lodged eight FIRs against students. Other colleges, too, have had unenviable track records.
Police claim that unless the university takes tough action against erring students, they cannot do anything. Senior superintendent of police Amrit Raj said: “The university and the colleges have never expelled students accused of violence.”
On Monday, teachers and students played truant and protested against the violence on the campus. All colleges of the university were closed.
Patna University Teachers’ Association president P.K. Poddar said: “We passed a resolution demanding the expulsion of the guilty students, and a police station on the campus for the protection of teachers, officials and students.”
Pusu members, led by president Ashish Sinha, also staged a protest.