Pre-poll violence send college authorities in a tizzy

Bhubaneswar: As the students’ union elections draw nearer, some college campuses across the state turning into literal battlegrounds are leaving the college authorities in a tizzy.
 
Tuesday witnessed a handful of such incidents in several institutions where students went berserk, causing damage to college properties.  
 
The students of Akamra college here in the state capital took law into their own hands and ransacked the college after the nominations of two aspiring presidential candidates were rejected during scrutiny.
 
The candidates along with their supporters started creating ruckus on the campus as soon as their nominations were declared invalid by the college authorities. Armed with wooden sticks, the irate students damaged furniture and other properties and set them on fire.
 
Even as the college authorities stated that the poll process was being conducted in accordance with the recommendations of the Lyngodoh committee, the enraged students torched a police control room (PCR) motorcycle.
 
“Nothing escaped the wrath of the students – everything from the classrooms to the laboratories is damaged. The loss would cost above Rs 50 lakh,” said Chitta Ranjan Panda, principal of Akamara college.
 
The college authorities have closed the college sine die and cancelled the students’ union poll scheduled for October 8.
 
The situation in Nilasaila college in Rourkela was no different as trouble started following cancellation of nomination of all the candidates contesting in the poll during scrutinisation. Despite the presence of heavy force on the campus, the students resorted to road blockade and demanded a re-scrutiny of the nomination papers.
 
Similarly Hatadihi college in Anandpur of Keonjhar district was declared sine die as students protested against the cancellation of students’ union poll. According to reports, a live bomb was recovered from Jagatsingpur college campus on Tuesday. Sensing trouble, the college authorities informed the police, who launched a search operation on the campus but did not find any explosive materials.
 
Last week, the Ravenshaw authorities declared not to hold students’ union poll this year citing campus unrest while Utkal University and Maharishi College of Natural Law in the state capital have decided to cancel election this year.
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