August 18, 2015 4:25:18 pm
A group of over 100 people, including teachers, non-teaching staff and outsiders, who arrived at the Pondicherry Central University in a university vehicle on Tuesday morning, launched an attack on teachers and students including women who led the successful protest against former V-C Chandra Krishnamurthy, who was asked to go on leave by the Ministry of Human Resources Development (MHRD) last week following a three-week long protest.
Till 2.30 pm on Tuesday, at least four departments including Chemistry, bioinformatics, pollution control, green energy departments were ransacked by the mob.
Students and teachers said that they have been pleading with Puducherry police for help from 11.30 am but many of them either refused to come or switched off their phones. “Instead they deployed more police force at former V-C bungalow near the campus,” said a student.
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One girl student who was at the pollution control department was dragged on the floor by group of men while a boy who sat with her was beaten up by the mob. He is hospitalised due to bleeding. “We noticed a huge mob attacking the library. Soon after that, they surrounded us near the life science department. Some of them started pelting stones at a faculty’s car while two men including a non-teaching staff tried to manhandle me. When I slapped him, others too joined to attack me while one among them snatched my cellphone too,” said a female student who was attacked. She said they have alerted the police but they arrived only after two hours.
As the police did not turn up till 2 pm, the mob was seen moving to different departments searching for people who led the protest against former V-C. While two senior women faculty were physically manhandled by the mob, Chief Librarian of the university had to lock herself inside the cabin when over 100 people vandalised the library building.
Manoj Parida, chief secretary of Pondicherry told The Indian Express at 1.30pm that he will be directing the police force to the university campus but students said the police did not arrive till 2 pm. One of the female students who tried to protect a lady faculty was also manhandled and harassed by a group of men. Chemistry, bioinformatics, pollution control, green energy departments were attacked and the mob is reportedly moving to other departments in search of students and teachers who led the protest.
“Teachers’ cabins and the entire laboratory of the chemistry department has been vandalised. Over 100 people ransacked the library building where digital equipments and CCTV cameras have been damaged. Several vehicles of the faculty who took part in the protest against former V-C Chandra Krishnamurthy were also damaged. We have called the police but they have deployed maximum force at the residence of former V-C’s bungalow,” said a senior official who himself has locked his room from inside fearing attack.
Meantime, the administration that accessed the CCTV footage of the mob that ransacked the main library building has identified a faculty with the physical education department among the mob who was booked for harassing a girl for taking part in the agitation launched by the students demanding ouster of the varsity’s V-C Krishnamurthy two weeks ago. Although students had to protest to make the police to register a complaint against the faculty under Sections 294 (obscene acts and songs), 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation) and 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) of the Indian penal code, Puducherry police did not probe the case and failed to arrest him.
A senior university official said all the ladies hostels in the campus were also locked from inside after several women, who entered the campus from outside, had started targeting several female students who led the protest. “All of us are told to stay inside rooms as the police force is refusing to step in. This looks like a planned operation as the police either refused to respond or switched off their phones,” said a student.
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