Students’ union polls: Violence erupts on campuses following nomination

Sundargarh/Nuapada/Jagatsinghpur: Campuses across the State continue to remain tense as fresh wave of violence was reported after rejection of nominations and cancellation of polls in several colleges today.

At Shrama Shakti College in Biramitrapur of Sundargarh, tension surfaced after nominations of all the candidates were cancelled by the authorities. The students reportedly damaged & burnt college property following which police was deployed on the premises.

Similarly in Khariar Autonomous College in Nuapada, BJD party members protested in front of the college after the nomination of the presidential candidate was cancelled.

Dispute surfaced between the students and college authorities at SVM College in Jagatsinghpur over cancellation of nomination of an ABVP candidate. Later, the students sat on a hunger strike protesting the move. During the protest, presidential candidate, Bhabaranjan Behera was taken ill and admitted in the district headquarters hospital.

In Deogarh College, students protested cancellation of elections. After the authorities closed the college sine die, the students staged a hunger strike demanding the Principal’s dismissal.

In another such incident, students of Berhampur University ransacked property inside PG council chairman’s office following rejection of nomination papers of an aspirant candidate.

Polls were also cancelled at Nirakarpur College of Khurda following campus unrest.

“Elections are being cancelled in areas where Biju Chhatra Janata Dal (BCJD)-backed candidates have more chances of losing. This is a pre-planned strategy of the ruling-BJD,” Convener of NSUI, Itish Pradhan said.

ABVP national secretary, Abhilash Panda said “BCJD is buying supporters with money & liquor. They are cancelling the elections at several places fearing that it will expose the rift within the party.”

BCJD general secretary, Deepak Jena said “Some conspirators visit the campus only during elections and try to mislead the students. But, they can never win elections. These groups are disrupting peace on the campus and are trying to stop elections.”

Meanwhile, campaigning intensified in several other colleges.

“The students are with us from the start of the year. We are now undertaking class to class campaigning. We have reached out to the students once and will do it once more,” said Sweekriti Mishra, a candidate of Rama Devi Women’s University students’ union.