The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Doctors invoke god
- Campus clash victim critical
- Shibpur university plans hostel shift

The condition of Sounik Basu, 21, seriously injured in Wednesday’s clash on the Bengal Engineering and Science University (BESU) campus, remained critical on Thursday.

Governor Gopal Krishna Gandhi visited CMRI hospital on Thursday to see Sounik. “I have talked to the doctors treating the student,” he said before leaving the hospital. “It is time for the students to introspect.”

Niraj Singh, superintendent of police, Howrah, said a preliminary probe has revealed that Sounik, a second-year student, had jumped off the second floor of a hostel in panic and fell into a drain, suffering critical injury to the brain.

He was rushed to SSKM Hospital, from where he was shifted to CMRI at 3.30 pm.

Dr G.K. Prusty, attending to Sounik, said: “The boy was brought in a very critical condition. We performed a craniotomy to remove the blood clot in his brain. He has been on ventilator, as his self-respiration is very low. We have done everything possible. Now, it’s in the hands of the God.”

Sounik’s father Ashok Basu, a retired employee of Central Bank of India and a resident of Salt Lake, rushed from Siliguri on hearing the news of his son’s near-fatal fall. “We are all praying for his recovery,” said Sounik’s sister.

University vice-chancellor Nikhil Ranjan Banerjea, registrar Indranath Sinha, teacher-in-charge Col A.K. Ghosh, several professors, students and staff members were present at the hospital.

Earlier in the day, Banerjea met the chief minister and the governor to discuss the situation arising out of the Shibpur violence. “The chief minister is very worried… We plan to move the hostel away from the college campus. Hopefully, the violence will lessen then,” he said at Writers’ Buildings.

The university on Thursday suspended four students involved in a similar incident four months ago, he added.

The campus was rocked by violence between rival students’ unions Independent Consolidation (IC) and SFI throughout Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, ending with Sounik’s fall around 11 am.

Since the students’ union election in July last year, the institution had witnessed several rounds of clashes between the two groups.

SFI state president Sudip Sengupta announced that his organisation would start a statewide protest against the Shibpur incident. The SFI has filed FIRs against 10 students belonging to the rival IC.

A Chhatra Parishad delegation to the governor demanded a judicial probe, suspension of the registrar and resumption of the campus interviews.

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