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Eviction for hostel calm

Illegal boarders of two Patna College hostels were evicted on Thursday, giving respite to serious students and residents of the neighbouring areas.

The Patna police conducted a special eviction operation at Minto and Jackson hostels following a directive from the district administration and a letter from Patna College administration, a day after some boarders of the former clashed with the residents of the neighbouring areas. Illegal boarders would be evicted from the two other college hostels — New and Iqbal — on Friday.

Classes at Patna College were suspended on Thursday as a precautionary measure. According to the college administration, fresh hostel allotment would be made once all the illegal boarders are evicted.

Patna senior superintendent of police Manu Maharaj said: “All the unauthorised occupants of Minto and Jackson hostels have been evicted during a special operation carried out by the police till the evening. FIRs have been lodged against 15 people for living at the two hostels illegally.”

City superintendent of police Jayant Kant said: “The police initiated the drive to vacate the boarders from the hostels of Patna College because we have been receiving complaints against them from the college administration and the residents of the area. After some boarders hurled bombs at some people last (Wednesday) night, the police were left with no other option but to deal with them strictly.”

Sources said when the police reached the college campus for vacating the hostels on Thursday morning with an anti-riot van, the boarders ran helter-skelter. The police, along with the college administration officials, first checked the list of boarders. They were surprised to know that a handful of students were living legally at the hostel.

A room at Minto hostel after the eviction of illegal boarders. Picture by Ranjeet Kumar Dey

Jayanti Sircar, a senior Patna College teacher, said: “We were surprised to learn that only four students were legal residents of the 90-bed Minto hostel. Similarly, only eight students were living legally at Jackson hostel, having a capacity of 90 students.”

The students have welcomed the decision to evict the illegal boarders from the hostels. Aniket Kumar, a history student of Patna College, said: “The illegal boarders were a problem for the college administration. They were involved in every unruly incident at the college and its vicinity. Now, I hope, we will get a better environment to study.”

The boarders of Minto hostel had clashed with some residents of the Ramna road area over some trivial issue on Wednesday night. The students allegedly beat up innocent people passing through Ashok Rajpath, damaged property of residents and looted shops.

The Ashok Rajpath stretch from the Patna Science College to the Patna Medical College and Hospital had turned into a battlefield. The police had a tough time in pacifying the mob. An FIR has been lodged against three persons.

Shopkeepers in the Ashok Rajpath area kept their shutters down on Thursday in protest against the incident. Tension prevailed at Patna College and Ashok Rajpath on Thursday morning after some residents beat up a few college students in front of the institution in retaliation to the Wednesday’s incident.

Sources said the Wednesday’s clash was the second incident within a fortnight in which the hostel boarders were involved. In the last week of November, the non-teaching employees of the college went on a strike after some boarders of Jackson hostel eve-teased the daughter of one of their peers.