KOCHI: In a major swoop, the police on Friday arrested 25 Cusat students over the wanton violence on the varsity campus which left at least 11 persons, including five persons, injured. The free-for-all involving two rival student groups raged on till the early hours on Friday .“We’ve arrested 25 students belonging to various factions. They were produced before the magistrate before being released on bail. Charges of Unlawful Assembly (Section 141) IPC), Assaulting or Obstructing public servant (Sec 152 IPC) and voluntarily causing Assault (Sec 324 IPC) were slapped on them,” said a police officer.
Sources said the differences over staging the annual college fest - ‘Vipanchika’ - triggered the violence. As tempers raged, a group of students vandalised the SFI unit on the campus. Later around 11.30 pm, in a tit-for-tat response, the SFI members gate crashed into the boys’ hostels and attacked the students there.The Cusat authorities have decided to conduct a preliminary probe into the incident by a two-member panel. M R Radhakrishna Panicker, principal, School of Engineering, Cusat, and Pratapan S, associate professor, Department of Applied Chemistry, are the panel’s members.
“We suspect a deliberate attempt was made to create tension on the campus. The inquiry will reveal more details and we will take strict action against the instigators,” said a Cusat officer. Though the police arrived shortly after the fracas began, they were greeted with bricks and beer bottles. A police personnel was grievously hurt after he was hit on the chest by a projectile. “A brick hit a policeman on the chest following which he was hospitalised,” said an officer. The police resorted to baton charge to disperse the troublemakers after five police men, including Kalamassery Sub Inspector Prasanth Clint, were injured.
SFI unit secretary Sajad Chemmukkan said the outfit did not have anything to do with the incidents. “The instigators are not us. The violence broke out after our office was destroyed by the ‘Malabari’ faction. However, the cops arrested 15 of our members, most of them who had nothing to do with the incidents after entering our hostel rooms,” he said.
The rival group alleged the SFI members usually harass the students hailing from the northern districts of the state, both mentally and physically, and the attack was a mere extension of the same. “The SFI office was destroyed by their own cadre and others were wrongly blamed for it. The students of the rival factions were attacked brutally and the provocation was actually the result of shameful conduct by students when they saw a boy and a girl talking. It was not even a political issue. However, it was later politicised,” said the KSU representatives.
2-member panel to probe
The Cusat authorities have decided to conduct a preliminary probe into the incident by a two-member panel. M R Radha-krishna Panicker, principal, School of Engineering, Cusat, and Pratapan S, associate professor, Department of Applied Chemistry, are the panel’s members