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Thursday , July 5 , 2012
 
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Lax Nagri cover draws cradle ire
- State must enforce court order: academics

The state’s academic fraternity deplored the violent clash in Nagri on Wednesday and squarely blamed the district administration for failing to secure the site of an ambitious education hub despite court orders.

From the heads of affected elite institutions such as IIM-Ranchi and national law university to those like Central University of Jharkhand, which is yet to get a campus of its own, concern echoed far and fast after Nagri villagers fought a pitched battle with police in the morning.

Vice chancellor of the law varsity A.K. Koul minced no words to call the administration the main culprit in Wednesday’s high drama.

“It is something very serious and the authorities must be held responsible for what happened. They failed to follow the court’s order, which clearly states that protection and support to campus construction work was mandatory,” Koul, an internationally acclaimed academic, said.

According to Koul, the Rs 600-crore law varsity dream could turn into a nightmare if adequate security measures were not taken immediately.

“The campus is coming up on 67 acres. The central public works department has already been engaged for construction of the boundary wall and we have hired a Delhi-based architecture firm for preparing the blueprint. It is high time the administration acts,” he said, referring to the Jharkhand High Court order, which was upheld by Supreme Court.

IIM director M.J. Xavier was equally concerned. “If the state has given us land, it must protect it too. Protests have been simmering for a couple of months. We had been anticipating what happened today,” the veteran professor said.

Xavier admitted that they had been compelled to keep back-up plans ready. “We are mulling distance education as well as virtual classes. Today’s incident was alarming and we have to be ready,” he added.

The information technology department is looking after the IIIT project. S.V. Sahu, the deputy director of the department, conceded that incidents like the clash on Wednesday was a big deterrent for projects like the IIIT, “which is at a very nascent stage”.

Central university vice chancellor D.T. Khathing agreed. “Although villagers of Cheri, Manatu and Sukurhuttu, where we have been allotted 500 acres, have been very supportive so far, Nagri may set a bad precedent,” he pointed out.