Cassian Baliarsingh

Tension erupted on the campus of the prestigious Buxi Jagabandhu Bidyadhar (BJB) Autonomous College in Bhubaneswar on Saturday following protests by students against the principal.

Irate students alleged the high-handedness of the principal while accusing her of ignoring their plight. They accused her of turning a blind eye to the lack of basic facilities on the college premises with the existing water taps, fans and other items lying defunct.

The protesting students alleged that they were being threatened of ‘expel’ by the principal Itishree Padhi when they apprised her of their woes. The students further accused the principal of depriving them of NUA-O Scholarship launched by the Odisha government.

“We had written an application to the principal apprising her of the unclean bathroom and toilets in the college campus, defunct fans, water taps and other needed developmental work in the college. However, instead of listening to our pleas, she is threatening to expel us from the college,” a student alleged.

Another student echoed the same and said, “Whenever we reach out to her for help or other developmental works of the college, she threatens to rusticate us. She is behaving as an authoritarian. Students are not even allowed to meet her.”

To top it all, the students accused the principal of being absent during working hours. Students who want to meet her have to wait for hours or have to return as the principal chamber remains closed most of the time, they alleged.

However, the principal refuted their allegations and said, “A small number of students are conspiring against me as they do not want any development works to be carried out in the college. There is no proof that I have harassed any student. Solving the problems of the students has been my first priority and I have been doing that. These are all false allegations against me.”