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Jalpaiguri engineering college row festers

Students demonstrate at the entrance of the Jalpaiguri Government Engineering College on Saturday. Picture by Biplab Basak

Jalpaiguri: The impasse at the Jalpaiguri Government Engineering College continued for the second day on Saturday, with second-year students demonstrating to demand the sacking of a teacher whom they accused of assault during a ragging row.

Dipak Kumar Kole is accused of thrashing two second-year students on Thursday when they had an altercation with some first-year students over the ragging claims.

Some first-year students have complained to police that second-year students have resorted to demonstrations to conceal the fact that they had ragged some freshers.

Kole, a member of the anti-ragging committee of the institution, had tried to stop the ragging, inviting the ire of a section of second-year students involved in the alleged crime, the complainants said.

Throughout the day, administrative officials repeatedly approached the agitators to sit for talks and withdraw the demonstration. They have not agreed so far.

Amitava Roy, the principal, has fallen ill at his chamber as he and several others have prevented by the protesters from leaving the campus. Many first year students said they had had been kept confined in the hostel.

The trouble started when a first-year student, hailing from Asansol, was allegedly beaten up by some second-year students. "As Kole tried to stop the torture, those involved in the assault have launched the protests demanding his removal," a first year student said.

The first year student said he was thrashed for the first time on Thursday night. As he protested, around 10 second-year students against thrashed him and slashed his hands with some sharp objects. "They also tried to push me from the hostel's roof," the student said.

His father arrived in Jalpaiguri on Saturday and approached the police. "I want police protection for my son or he might get killed. I will not let him continue studies here. Some seniors have confined my son and nine other first-year students in the hostel. I got them out through a rear door."

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