SAMBALPUR: Demanding online examinations, members of National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) ransacked the administrative building of Sambalpur University on Tuesday. As the students went on a rampage, damaging property, police had to resort to mild lathi-charge to bring the situation under control. The agitators were demanding online examination of the third semester Plus Three courses.
Vice-Chancellor (VC) Sanjiv Mittal said, “At around 12 pm, we heard a commotion outside. By the time we went down to check, students had started ransacking the office on the ground floor. They were breaking furniture and equipment. When I met them, the protesters said that they had come from Bargarh and were members of NSUI.”
The NSUI members even manhandled some of the university staff. “We had to call the police to control them. As soon as the forces arrived, the mob dispersed, destroying whatever came in their way. There were around 200 agitators,” the VC added.
Sources said the agitators broke several glass windows of the administrative building besides vandalising the reception desk, furniture, air coolers and chairs in different office rooms. A teacher of the university also got injured in the melee. Before leaving the campus, the agitators handed over a memorandum to the VC demanding conduct of examination in blended mode.
One of the agitating students said, “Our exams are scheduled to start from April 27. While Covid-19 cases are surging across the State, how can the authorities put us at the risk by conducting examinations in offline mode. Our demands are genuine and the university should immediately take a decision to conduct the examination online,” he added.
Sub-divisional police officer (SDPO), Burla S Dash said the agitators were students of different colleges of Bargarh. “We have detained four agitators and CCTV footage is being verified. Two platoons of police force have been deployed in the university to avert any untoward incident. The bus in which the agitators had come has also been seized,” the SDPO added.