| Hostel boarders gather in front of Patna University on Tuesday. Picture by Jai Prakash |
Some boarders of Patna University hostels clashed with employees on Tuesday amid uneasy calm on the campus over the arrest of the computer centre in-charge and the subsequent resignation of the proctor in protest against the alleged pressure tactics of few student leaders.
The tension erupted after the varsity employees refused to give admission challans to three students and allegedly assaulted them. Sumant Kumar, a student of Patna University, said: “The tension erupted after the three students were beaten up by the employees.”
Irked over the assault, a large number of students assembled on the main campus and started pelting stones at the university office. The situation came under control only after the intervention of varsity officials, some student leaders and police personnel.
The students clashed with the employees a day after the proctor, Kriteshwar Prasad, resigned on Monday in protest against the arrest of the computer centre in-charge, K.P. Singh. Prasad claimed that Singh, arrested on Saturday, was innocent and the university administration was succumbing to pressure of some student leaders.
Patna University vice-chancellor (VC) Arun Kumar Sinha said: “Till now, the university has not accepted the resignation of Prasad and we will ask him to continue.”
He also said the recent development (the arrest of Singh) was the fallout of the university administration’s lapses earlier and it would be settled soon.
Some student leaders on Saturday exerted pressure on the university officials to lodge an FIR against Singh. He was arrested the same day.
The back-to-back tumultuous developments in the varsity, grappling with delay in starting academic session for postgraduate courses, are having a negative impact on students. Anurag Prasad, a student, said: “The growing tension is seriously hurting the academic atmosphere at the varsity.”
Sources in the university said Bangalore-based firm M/s Mind Logic had entered into an agreement with the varsity last year for computerised evaluation of answer sheets of the university examinations. Scripts of first-year BSc and BCom (Honours) examinations conducted this year were to be evaluated through computers. The deal was later scrapped, as the officials were not satisfied with the system.
In the meantime, Mind Logic had set up its own evaluation centre on the varsity campus and installed computers and printers. Sources said after the agreement was scrapped, the firm approached the varsity for taking away its assets.
When the company representatives reached the varsity on Saturday for taking away its possessions, a group of students protested. They alleged that the computer centre in-charge (Singh) was helping the firm to destroy evidence.
The sources said the university had paid crores to the firm. Former VC Shambhu Nath Singh, registrar V.K. Yadav and finance officer A.K. Singh were allegedly involved in the deal. The former VC is already facing a vigilance probe.