BGSBU turns into battlefield
SOG Roughs Up Students, 50 Injured
Rajouri, June 13: At least 50 engineering students of Baba Ghulam Shah Badshah University (BGSBU) here were injured on Sunday when the personnel of Special Operations Group of Police baton-charged them and tried to forcibly evict them from the campus. The students are on strike for the past few days, demanding changes in the examination pattern.
Witnesses said the trouble erupted this morning when a huge contingent of police led by Rajouri’s Deputy Superintendent of Police (operation), Farooq Ahmed Qaiser, reached the campus and asked the protesting students, who had staged a sit-in, to vacate the premises in view of the vacations announced by the varsity.
The situation, they said, turned ugly when a policeman attacked a student following heated argument between the two. “Students raised slogans which aggravated the situation,” they said.
Police swung into action and resorted to baton charge and fired numerous tear smoke canisters to disperse the students who retaliated with stones triggering clashes in which at least 50 students and a few cops, including the DySP Farooq Ahmad were injured.
The students were shifted to District Hospital Rajouri. The injured students hailing from Srinagar included Aqib Qureshi, Anees Ahmed, Shajer Iqbal, Rayees Ahmed, Moin Akhter, Musheer Shawl, Obaid Ahmed, Tousef Ahmed , Ommer, Aqib Altaf, Nahida, Owais Punjabi, Mehmood Ahmed, Haseeb Ahmed and A Amir. Other injured students were identified as Aqib of Islamabad. Fozia Ali of Charar-i-Sharief, Ajeet, Sanjeev Singh, Vinambra Chargotra, Sanjeev Kumar and Simranjeet Singh of Jammu, Showket Ahmed and Majid Bhat of Islamabad, Owais Ahmed of Rajouri, Sarfraz Ahmed of Poonch and Faisal Mushtaq of Islamabad.
Police alleged the students pelted stones on cops without any provocation, a charge refuted by the students. “We were called by the university authorities to control the situation,” said the Additional Superintendent of Police, Rajouri, Muhammad Shabir. “We were forced to use force after being attacked by the protesting students”.
STUDENTS BLAME UNIVERSITY
The agitating students have blamed the University authorities for today’s episode. “The Vice-Chancellor is trying to suppress the genuine demands of the students with the use of force,” they said. “We are only demanding supplementary examination system besides grading and grace system, which is prevalent in other universities.”
They said the university management was not paying any heed towards their grievances. “Instead they want to throw us out from the campus. For God’s sake tell us which university suppresses the voice of its students this way?” the students asked.
The students are demanding removal of the head of the engineering wing, who, according to them, was maltreating students.
“The University generally closes for summer vacation from July 1 but the authorities announced the vacation one month in advance only to suppress our voices,” the students said.
They have refused to call-off the strike. Three students were detained by police but were later released.
AUTHORITIES SHIFT BLAME
The BSBGU authorities said police was called in when the protesting students attacked an examination center. “State Kevel Entrance Test for admission to B.Tech programme for the Session 2010-11 of BGSB University was scheduled to be held today. The B.Tech students attacked the police personnel deployed outside the examination center forcing the police to act,” said a BSBGU spokesman in a statement. “Police acted with restraint. The incident caused injuries to several police personnel. Some students received minor injuries while they were being chased away from the Examination Centre”.
The students, however, described the university version as a blatant lie. “We didn’t attack any examination centre. The authorities are trying to save their skin by making such baseless statements,” they said.
On intervention of district administration, students had a meeting with Deputy Commissioner, Rajouri and Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) at Gujjar Mandi but it failed to yield any results.
Registrar of University, Abdul Rashid said they had already agreed to most of the students’ demands, including provision for supplementary examination and re-evaluation.
Lastupdate on : Sun, 13 Jun 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 13 Jun 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 14 Jun 2010 00:00:00 IST
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