University College, which has seen unrest triggered by students unions over the past few weeks, was once again in the middle of a controversy during the installation of office-bearers of the students union on Tuesday.

Fearing a clash between rival student groups, a sizeable police force was deployed on the campus.

While none of the student leaders were willing to speak, sources said that the controversy was generated by the invitation of columnist and Hindutva ideologue Chakravarthy Soolibele as chief guest for the event. His invitation to the college created discontent among a section of students belonging to the Campus Front of India, who alleged that this was an attempt by the BJP-backed Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad to politicise the college environment.

As a mark of protest, members of the CFI, who were supported by many lecturers, boycotted the function. Commissioner of Police Seemanth Kumar Singh told The Hindu that the police did not want to take any chances, given the recent history of turmoil on the college premises.

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