Amidst reports of alleged use of drugs and related violence on the campus, the beleaguered Maharaja’s College Principal Latha Raj on Thursday came out in defence of the college and the atmosphere prevalent within the campus.
Three inmates of the college hostel were assaulted by a gang of students on Wednesday in an alleged retaliation for an anti-drugs campaign conducted by the hostel inmates on the campus.
Addressing a press conference here, Ms. Raj condemned what she regarded as attempts to brand the college as a haven for drug peddlers. She regarded the previous day’s attack not as one involving the drug mafia but a continuation of an earlier clash between hostel inmates and day scholars.
She said that the college atmosphere continued to be healthy and vigorous notwithstanding the sporadic and stray incidents of drug use by some students. The Principal said that strong measures were being taken to stop the infiltration of anti-social elements into the campus.
Ms. Raj said that henceforth, the gate of the college on the hospital side would remain closed while watchmen would be deployed at other gates. Entry to the campus would be strictly regulated by identity cards. Those skipping classes for 15 days would be removed from the rolls. Night patrolling by the police was set to be introduced.
With the perception that drug use is rampant on the campus gaining ground, the college is all set to form anti-narcotic clubs with the participation of the police and excise officials. A dedicated personal counselling cell has been set up to get the students who have fallen for the use of drugs back on to the right track.
Ms. Raj said that no narcotic had been seized from the campus while empty beer bottles were found strewn around by police officials combing the campus.
Meanwhile, all three students who suffered injuries in the assault on Wednesday continued to undergo treatment at the isolation ward of the General Hospital.
The accused in the case are absconding. The Central police have registered cases against them.KSU march
The district committee of the Kerala Students Union (KSU) took out a protest march to Maharaja’s College on Thursday demanding an end to the drug sale on the campus and the arrest of those accused of assaulting the hostel inmates.
The KSU alleged that five Njarakkal-based SFI activists, who had cases slapped on them in the Njarakkal police station for ganja sale, were behind the drug sale on the campus. The protesters called for their expulsion from the college.
The protest meeting was inaugurated by KSU State general secretary Sabeer Muttom. District president Titto Antony presided over the meet.
The district council of the All India Democratic Students’ Organization (AIDSO) has called for stern action against those guilty of assaulting the students, a release issued by the organisation said.
Earlier in the day, the district leaders of the organisation visited the injured students at the hospital. They alleged that the soft approach by the police led to the incident, while demanding not to relegate it to a mere law and order issue. AIDSO will take the lead in forming anti-narcotics groups in schools and colleges, the district president of the organisation K.P. Salvin and district secretary Rashmi Ravi said.