BHUBANESWAR: Tension ran high in the BJB College campus on Wednesday evening when a student attempted self-immolation after the college administration decided to cancel the students' union election.
The student, Soubhagya Ranjan Sahoo, was supposed to contest the election on October 5 as an Independent candidate. While Badagada police officials rescued Sahoo, another group of students staged demonstration outside the main gate and also ransacked college property demanding holding of the election.
After a four-hour-long meeting, college Principal Prof Mohammed Nawaz Hasan declared the college sine die in the evening and directed all students to vacate the hostels within 24 hours in wake of pre-poll violence in the campus and students' unrest for the last two months. The campus has been handed over to the district administration.
The decision, however, did not go down well with candidates of the BJP’s Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parisad (ABVP), the Congress-backed National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) and Independent aspitants. They accused principal and teachers of the college of being supportive towards candidates owing allegiance to a particular party and a minister.
They alleged that as there were chances that the minister supported candidate would lose to Lagnajit Patra of ABVP, the incidents of violence were stage-managed to cancel the poll. "The principal is working hand in glove with the minister," an agitating student claimed. On the other hand, Prof Hasan said, "the students were getting restive which is why we decided to close the college sine die and cancel the election as per the Lyngdoh Commission guidelines." In the students' union election of 2015-16, Lagnajit had fought for BCJD and won with a margin of 456 votes.
On Monday afternoon, two bike-borne youths hurled a crude bomb near the basketball court in Science block of the college and the last week, students of the college had locked Arts block and the main gate demanding arrest of outsiders who had entered the campus and assaulted a group of students in August third week.
Two platoons of police personnel have been deployed in the campus to avert any untoward situation.
Earlier in the day, students' union elections were called off in two other colleges due to pre-poll violence and sine die in Capital Law College was lifted. The colleges where election was cancelled were College of Basis Sciences and Humanities of OUAT and City Women's College.
OUAT Vice-Chancellor on Wednesday announced that the election will not be held due to deteriorating law and order situation in the campus and hostels. Apparently, some students of the college had confined superintendent of hostel 7 in a room and abused him on September 25.
Prior to that on September 4, two groups of students had clashed with each other. Two complaints in this regard have been filed in the Khandagiri police station. Principal of City Women’s College, Suryasnata Satapathy said the election cannot be held due to the ongoing mid-term examinations.
On the other hand, the sine die in Capital Law College was lifted on Wednesday owing to students' dharna. Election would be held here as per the Government notification and a notice regarding this was put up by the college administration. Students of the college were sitting on a dharna in the morning demanding campus polls after the college authorities decided not to hold the election on Monday.
Poll aspirants will file nominations on Thursday and final list of candidates would be declared on October 1 after scrutiny of the nominations.