Patna College administration on Monday failed to enforce its order of getting Minto and Iqbal hostels vacated following a clash on the campus among students.
On Saturday, the college authorities had asked boarders to vacate the hostels by 6am on Monday. The order was issued after a minor altercation between two students spiralled into a free-for-all violence and crude bombs were hurled on campus. All the four rooms of the two hostels were occupied till the filing of this report on Monday evening.
This is not the first time that the college administration has failed to enforce its order. (See graphic)
It could perhaps take a clue on how to crack the whip from the administration of Jadavpur University (JU), Calcutta. The vice-chancellor and senior officers of the university had to face strong protest from a students’ union and remain gheraoed for 51 hours last week after expelling two fourth-year students convicted of ragging a junior.
JU authorities, however, remained firm on their decision. Educationists, teachers and many students of the university supported the decision of the authorities.
Patna College authorities have done nothing of the sort. On Tuesday, principal Rash Bihari Prasad Singh passed the buck on to the police. “The college administration has written a letter to the police to get the hostels vacated,” he said.
The police claimed that the hostel occupancy was an internal matter of the college. “We can help the college authorities but it is the duty of the institution to take the initiative,” said city superintendent of police Jayant Kant.
The show of weakness has led to more confusion and tension on the campus, despite the presence of policemen.
A number of hostel boarders were unhappy with the order of the college authorities to vacate the accommodation facilities.
Vijay Kumar Vineet, a college councillor and a boarder of Minto Hostel, said: “A few students had created the ruckus. All students should not be punished for it.”
Patna College has four hostels — Minto, Iqbal, Jackson and New. Around 300 students live in these facilities.
Some students, however, want the authorities to take strong action against their fellow scholars and improve the security on the campus. A second-year history student, who did not want to be named, said the boarders should be asked to vacate the hostels immediately and the rooms re-allotted. “The hostel boarders are responsible for every trouble at the college. The main reason for this is illegal occupancy. Most of the boarders are not students of the college,” he said.
Teachers agreed with him. “Out of the 300 boarders at the hostels, only about 50 study at the college. The rest have occupied the rooms without allotment,” said a senior teacher.
Asked about the recent violence, Patna University Students’ Union president Ashish Sinha said: “We had requested the college administration to constitute a students’ committee to prevent such incidents but nothing was done.”
Members of All India Students’ Federation (AISF) took out a march to protest against the campus violence.
While chaos ruled the college campus, sociologists blamed the politicisation of education for the problems.
Sociologist Hetukar Jha said: “It is very sad that all groups associated with higher education — students, teachers and administration — are politicised. They act according to the instructions of their political leaders. No one wants to take a strong decision.”
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