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Caste row triggers tech cradle chaos

Police speak to girls regarding the complaint at MIT on Tuesday. Picture by Lokesh Bihari

Muzaffarpur Institute of Technology has summoned guardians of two students for allegedly trying to vitiate the academic atmosphere on caste lines. Police patrolling has also been intensified on the campus.

Acting principal P.C. Gupta said he has ordered a detailed probe following an FIR by Samna Sagar, a girl student of the 2011-12 session, with the SC/ST police station on Monday.

Sagar, hailing from the Scheduled Caste, has named eight students and the warden of the girls’ hostel for allegedly harassing her on caste lines in the report. The FIR was lodged against F. Fatima, Aprajita, Aafin Akbari, Seema Kumari, Bharti Kumari, Sweta, Nidhi Priya, Neha and Arti Kumari, the warden. She accused the eight students and the warden for masterminding a plan to evict her from the hostel on caste lines.

A two-member team headed by Surendra Prasad, the chief of warden (hostels), and Ashutosh Kumar, a teacher, has started investigations. The team has summoned the guardians of Sagar and one Surendra Kumar on Thursday.

Deputy superintendent of police (city) Upendra Kumar visited the MIT campus on Tuesday morning and deployed a force apprehending trouble. The officer said: “Sagar had been allocated a room in a girls’ hostel, along with two other students. There was accommodation for three girls in one room. Sagar had a tiff with two girls. Other inmates of the hostel tried to sort it out but the situation aggravated. Forty-five students of the hostel submitted a written complaint to the warden to shift Sagar. This irked her and she lodged the FIR for harassment.”

The officer added: “The role of another student, Shankar Kumar, is under the scanner for aggravating the situation.” Hostel warden Arti Kumari said the allegation levelled in the FIR is baseless and is an attempt to malign her image. She said: “I offered Sagar the options of moving into the guestroom or search for two other girls to stay with when she had a tiff with other inmates. She did neither.”

The station house officer of the SC/ST police station, Shambhu Yadav, said he has initiated an investigation in the case.