Kochi: Dramatic scenes unfolded at the Maharajas College on Friday as students indulged in pitched battles with each other and also attacked police personnel who rushed to the scene, injuring at least eight of them including the assistant commissioner of police. As many as 15 students were arrested and non-bailable charges were lodged against 60 others for the violence on the campus. “We’ve taken a case against the students under IPC sec 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty),” said ACP. K Laljy. “The police personnel were injured after the students resorted to throwing of beer bottles and stones at cops stationed below from classrooms located at the top floor.”
It all started at 3 pm when the ‘Freshers’ Day’ function was on at the college auditorium. According to college authorities, a lot many students from outside, including former students, assembled at the venue. “A dispute broke out between some of the students and it soon escalated into a fight between two groups,” the officer said. “Some of them were in an inebriated condition. When the cops rushed to the scene and tried to bring the situation under control, the students’ ire fell on us. They started pelting stones from classrooms located on second and third floors.”
Eight police personnel suffered minor injuries in the stone-pelting that lasted nearly half-an-hour. Several students, too, got injured. However the condition of none of them is stated to be serious. The college authorities, meanwhile, said that the issue was created by outsiders. “The welcome party was going on and some miscreants who entered the campus from outside abused one of the students which soon escalated into clash,” said a faculty member on the condition of anonymity. “A group of students tried to rag some of the first year students. They started attacking us when we questioned their acts,” said Nikhil Babu, SFI district president. However, the rival KSU workers said the violence was part of a conspiracy by the SFI to sabotage the Freshers Day programme organised by the KSU unit.