Cops swarming in Engg college after group fracas

Himalayan News Service

Lalitpur, January 2:

Agitating students of the Institute of Engineering, supporting the Nepal Student Union, today obstructed traffic outside the college by burning tyres on the road.

The students were protesting police intervention in college premises that occurred last week after a scuffle between two groups of students, led by the secretary and president of the campus’ Free Students’ Union. After that clash, the college administration gave notice to students to vacate the hostel. The exam also was postponed. Students chose to flout the evacuation order and police briefly detained dozens of students belonging to the Nepal Students Union on Friday evening. Today, the students demonstrated for reopening of the hostel. A total of 274 students, including 320 boys and 54 girls residing in the boys’ and girls’ hostel, respectively have been forced to seek shelter either with their relatives or close friends. “Many of the inmates could not retrieve their belongings from their rooms and are suffering in this severe cold,” a student said.

Dozens of policemen stood guard around the deserted buildings of the college, including the new hostel after it was evacuated. The college unit of the NSU has served a 24-hour ultimatum to the college administration, asking it to open the hostel and call off its decision to close college indefinitely. The NSU has demanded that the college administration also immediate order resumption of the examinations. The students have also demanded the resignations of the dean and the campus chief. In their memorandum, the students have described the dean as “incapable”. The root of the trouble is the fracas between the Free Students’ Union (FSU) secretary Ravi Bhusan Jha who is close to NSU lately and president Nirmal Poudel of All Nepal National Free Students Union (ANNFSU) regarding the college ground provided to Metro College by the FSU. Recalling the incident, Janak Raj Joshi, joint secretary of the NSU — IOE unit, said the clash occurred at around 11:30 pm last Wednesday. In the hubbub, a computer belonging to FSU president Nirmal was thrown out from his room along with other materials.

Nirmal managed to escape by jumping down from his room window, sources said.

IOE campus chief Baidhya said the administration was compelled to close down to save the property of the college from getting damaged as the administration could not control the conflict. He said it would take a few days to open the college and the security forces night leave tomorrow.