CHENNAI: A day after a French student was beaten up by Madras University faculty, he and a Tanzanian student filed complaints with their respective diplomatic missions over the incident.
As the student protest intensified on Wednesday, the university was declared closed until January 4 and all the hostel students were asked to vacate their rooms. “The Consulate officials expressed shock about the events which they came to know through the media. They assured to take up the issue with the university administration and get back,” Jonas Anton Pulendrasa, the assaulted French national, told Express. He filed the complaint with the Consulate General of France on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Bob Mahona, a Tanzanian student, who was also roughed up by the non-teaching staff when he, along with other students, was protesting against attack, also filed a complaint with the Tanzanian embassy. “I felt discriminated and was not treated as a human being by the university staff,” Bob Mahona said. The stand off between the university students and the staff began on Tuesday when Jonas Anton Pulendrasa raised questions during a seminar on the recent floods. A few teaching staff of the university objected to this and allegedly beat up the student. It snowballed into a major issue when the students protested against this and staff roughed up the protesting students.
“Top university officials used foul language and questioned my rights to protest against this. A senior official asked me to leave India and go back to Africa”, Bob told Express, narrating the treatment meted out to the students who demanded action on the staff who beat up Jonas. “I have filed a complaint with my Embassy in New Delhi with enough evidence (sound tape) and awaiting a reply,” he said.
The student protest continued on Wednesday near the university campus and the police detained 40 students. They were kept in a hall and released in the evening. The students said one of them, Niruban, was injured in the police action.
When contacted, University Registrar David Jawahar said Jonas attended the seminar with an inappropriate dress code and no complaint had been received from the students about the incident. While Jonas has filed a complaint against the staff with the Anna Square police, the University staff had also filed a complaint claiming that one of them, named Kalaimani, was assaulted by persons claiming to be students in the university premises. “We have received complaints from both parties and have issued a CSR) receipt acknowledging their complaints,” police said.