Maharaja’s college witnesses pitched battle, several hurt 

The college authorities said action will be taken against those who were involved in the violence erupted on Freshers’ Day. 
Police leaving the campus after restoring calm at Maharaja’s College in Kochi on Friday |Melton Antony
Police leaving the campus after restoring calm at Maharaja’s College in Kochi on Friday |Melton Antony

KOCHI: For nearly two hours on Friday evening, the Maharaja’s College campus here witnessed a free-for-all as a pitched battle raged between the police and a section of students. Eight police personnel, including an Assistant Commissioner of Police, suffered minor injuries in stone throwing by students after they entered the campus in the wake of clashes involving rival groups of students.  Central CI Ananthlal, SI Joseph Sajan and Probation SI Jobi; CPOs, Shameer, Anil, Shyakumar and Shyamraj are the police personnel who suffered minor injuries.

Several students too were injured, but the condition of none of them was stated to be serious.
As many as 15 students were arrested and cases under non-bailable Sections lodged against 60 others in connection with the skirmishes. “We’ve lodged a case against the students under Section 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharging his duty). The police personnel were injured after the students threw stones and beer bottles,” said ACP K Laljy.“A dispute among some of the students turned into a fight between two rival sections. Some of the students were in an inebriated condition. When the cops rushed to the scene and tried to bring the situation under control they were greeted with stones which rained on them from classrooms situated on second and third floor,” said the officer.

The trouble started around 3 pm while a ganamela organised by the KSU was under way. A group of students allegedly under the influence of alcohol purportedly tried to rag a fresher near the SFI union office. However, some SFI activists objected to this sparking the confrontation. Interestingly, the officers did not confirm the ragging incident. According to them, it was after coming to know of the clashes involving students the police team stationed in front of the college gate entered the campus. The police which was forced to retreat re-entered the campus after reinforcements arrived. A baton charge ensued and the situation was brought under control.  The college authorities said action will be taken against those who were involved in the  conflict. Ironically, the violence erupted on Freshers’ Day. 
“I was in a meeting when the untoward incidents took place. I have asked all the department heads to submit a report on the same,” said principal P S Ajitha.

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