Wednesday, August 28, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Uneasy calm at NIT
Students leave for homes
Our Correspondent

The district police chief, Mr R.M. Sharma, on Tuesday denied various reports appearing in a section of the Press that government and private property had been damaged during the clash at NIT while the police remained a mute spectator. In a signed statement released to the Press he said had the police not acted swiftly some casualty might have taken place and greater loss to the property could have been caused. He added that a case under the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act had been registered.

Hamirpur, August 27
An uneasy calm prevails on the campus of the National Institute of Technology here on the second day. It presented a deserted look as students have started going back to their homes after the institute’s closure.

Police personnel were, however, seen at the entrance of the institute and were supervising the law and order situation on the campus. Teaching work has also been discontinued.

The teachers’ association held a meeting today under the chairmanship of Mr Sushil Chauhan and demanded immediate revocation of the suspension orders of Mr P.K. Sood, chief warden of the institute, within the next 24 hours and identification of those responsible for damaging the government and private properties. The association alleged that the police had acted in a partisan manner and the property was damaged in their presence.

Mr Chauhan said all teachers had decided to resign from the posts related to extra-curricular activities.

The non-teaching employees of the institute has also condemned the suspension of Mr Sood.

Dr S.K. Bhowmick, acting Director of the institute, said no unwanted incident took place on the campus since yesterday. He said only non-teaching activities were going on in the institute as the institute had been closed for an indefinite period.

He said almost all students had vacated the hostels and only those from foreign countries were staying in the hostels.

Meanwhile, students have demanded action against four other teachers of the institute who along with Mr Sood had allegedly beaten up the students.

In a statement released to the Press under the banner of the NIT Students Union, they have demanded facility of re-evaluation, appointment of a regular Director for the institute and auditing of the funds for the hostels.

Addressing a press conference here today, Mrs Anita Verma, vice-president of the Himachal Congress, and Mr Kuldip Singh Pathania, former MLA, demanded a judicial probe.

Meanwhile, the state government has appointed Mr Balbir Badaliya, ADM, Hamirpur, as the inquiry officer.

When contacted Mr Badaliya said the inquiry would be held only when the institute reopened. He denied allegations of the teaching staff that the administration had failed to perform its duties.


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