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Cops defuse soccer row

Police keep vigil at LBSM College in Karandih, Jamshedpur, on Saturday. Picture by Animesh Sengupta

Jamshedpur, Oct. 14: An ongoing dispute between local football enthusiasts and students of LBSM College, Parsudih, over a field inside the college premises, has led to police being deployed on campus from today.

The problem has its origin in a clash earlier this week between students and youths of the locality who used to play football on college grounds, allegedly even in a drunken state.

Parsudih thana OC Animesh Gupta said the resentment brewing between college students and locality youths was frequently erupting with verbal altercations.

"We have been trying to settle the issue by making both disgruntled groups sit together but neither was ready. Therefore, on the request of the college, we deployed 10 policemen on campus," Gupta said.

Principal R.N. Manto claimed that local youths entered college premises in a drunken state and play football.

"Things were okay till the time both sides (the youths and our students) played amicably but I have stopped outsiders from using the venue after fights cropped up," he said. "The local boys can use two more nearby fields to play football."

One of the students, who asked not to be quoted, said, "We are no longer interested in playing with local boys as a section of them tease us whenever we go outside the campus."

Local youths however are loathe to give up their claim on the grounds, on which they said they had been playing for decades. "I have been playing football here for years," Somai Mardi, one of them, said. "How can we be prevented from entering the college premises. After all, the college was set up only after tribal outfits gave their consent. The college authority should not stop local youths."

Set up in 1971, LBSM College is located in tribal-dominated Karandih in Parsudih. Having a strength of 6,500 students, the college has a hostel that accommodates 250 tribal boys.

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