Siliguri, Oct. 1: Thirteen students were injured today when All India Democratic Students’ Organisation and Trinamul Congress Chhattra Parishad supporters clashed near the North Bengal Dental College and Hospital hostel over the collection of union fees from newly-admitted candidates.
According to AIDSO activists, trouble started yesterday during the admission process.
“The TMCP had set up a camp under the pretext of helping students with the admission process but they were actually collecting union fees from them. We have always protested collection of the fee, which is Rs 700,” aid Apurba Mondal, unit secretary of AIDSO, the student wing of the SUCI.
“Yesterday, TMCP supporters threatened two students with dire consequences if they did not pay the amount. The students kept requesting them not to demand the fees as they were from economically weak families and could not afford it. When we tried to intervene, TMCP supporters beat us up.”
Mondal added that when they went to the hostel last night, TMCP supporters refused to let them in.
“Around 10 of us had to spend the night outside because TMCP supporters prevented us from entering. In the morning, when we went to the hostel, they were waiting for us with rods and hockey sticks. They thrashed us and we sustained injuries in the head, chest and limbs. We have lodged an FIR. We have also complained to the principal,” Mondal said.
He added that 10 AIDSO supporters were hospitalised.
Trinamul Congress Chhattra Parishad denied the allegation.
“The money is collected with the consent of the guardians. We have record of the activities conducted and purchases made by the union. We let off students who cannot pay. It is a false allegation that we forced two students from financially weak backgrounds to pay up,” said Anirban Biswas, president of the Trinamul Congress Chhattra Parishad college union.
“They started fighting for no reason. This morning, around 10 AIDSO supporters came to the hostel and started assaulting our members. Three have been admitted to the NBMCH. Those with minor injuries were administered first-aid. We have lodged an FIR,” he added.
Soumen Chakraborty, the principal of NBDCH was unavailable for comments.
“We are looking into the matter,” a police officer said.