The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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College closed after siege
- Mob raid on principal’s office to avenge assault on eve-teaser

Burdwan, Feb. 26: The Guskara College near here was shut down indefinitely after a mob ransacked the principal’s office at the instigation of a man who was thrashed by students yesterday for allegedly making lewd gestures at girls.

About 200 youths forcibly entered the principal’s office last evening and went on a rampage to take revenge for the boys’ assault on their patron, who was identified by the girls as the man who had entered the ladies toilet in the college on January 31.

The gang again arrived at the college gates this morning. In panic, the administration suspended classes as the police did not provide a security cover.

A member of the college staff said principal Gopikanta Konar was away and they were forced to shut the institution as repeated pleas to the police went unheeded.

When contacted, the Burdwan University authorities pleaded ignorance. “Such a major incident was not conveyed to us, but we are looking into the facts,” said deputy inspector of schools Debkumar Panja.

District magistrate Manoj Agarwal has asked the block development officer to inquire into the incident and report to him. “The college authorities have not sent any complaint to us and hence we did not look into the matter,” said police superintendent B.N. Ramesh.

The students said the man had sneaked into the ladies toilet on January 31 and managed to flee after the girls raised an alarm. Yesterday, he again tried to enter the college, but some of the girls recognised him and called the boys. The students pounced on him, dragged him into the college and gave him a sound thrashing. The man was allowed to leave after senior staff members, including the principal, intervened.

He returned in the evening with the other youths and ransacked the principal’s office. Ananta Chattopadhyay, the head clerk of the college, said the police did not intervene despite repeated calls to the local police station. “We are afraid to come to college as outsiders have been standing outside the gates waiting for us,” said a girl.

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