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Sour end to varsity fest

The second edition of Kolhan University’s youth fest might have had a rocking start, but it met with a controversial end.

The three-day extravaganza, hosted by Mahila College in Chaibasa, concluded on Wednesday. The fest saw students from 19 institutions take part in 10 events. However, thanks to flouting of rules by some students, the last day of the event was marked by confusion and a face-off between organisers and participants.

To ensure that the fest was fair, organisers had laid down certain rules. For instance, a college taking part in Hindi debate could not participate in the event’s English version. However, some students took part in both. So, when scores were tallied, some colleges led the table because they had flouted rules, while the ones who had abided by them trailed.

Sources said by the time organisers realised things were going wrong, a number of ‘rule-breakers’ had bagged prizes. When the organisers tried to set things straight, students of Golmuri-based Abdul Bari Memorial College started protesting. “They had won a number of events they were not supposed to participate in. They did not want to part with their prizes,” said a faculty member of an affiliated college, requesting anonymity.

The faculty member added that the protesting students threatened to give away all the awards they had won.

After much chaos, the university decided to let all participants keep their prizes.

On Thursday morning, principal of Mahila College Asha Mishra confirmed that news reports that claimed Jamshedpur Women’s College had finished as overall champion were true. “We chose not to declare the winner amidst confusion on Wednesday,” she said.

Later in the day, pro vice-chancellor Shukla Mahanty said they did not declare any overall champion. “Officially, the university has not announced any overall champion because it creates an ill-feeling among colleges. Winners to individual events, however, have been awarded,” she added.

The principal of Mahila College was not available for further comments.

The controversial end to the fest disappointed many students. “After so much of hard work and following all regulations, we did not get anything,” said a student, who took part in the fest.