A silent protest against a private college in the city on Thursday turned into a scuffle after college authorities and students allegedly assaulted the protesters. Around 3.30 p.m., the group, led by the People’s Union For Civil Liberties (PUCL), gathered in front of St. Aloysius College in protest against the displacing of John Baptist Lewis (57), who has been living fin his relative’s house at Patrao Lane, Karangalpady, for the past four decades.

While Mr. Lewis sought rehabilitation on humanitarian grounds, the college claimed ownership of the entire 34 cents of land saying that the land had been bequeathed to it after the relative’s death.On November 11, the college had cut power and water supply to the house.

When members of PUCL were distributing pamphlets, things turned ugly as college officials and student leaders confronted the protesters.

“They started to abuse us, and then broke the placards we had kept there,” said P.B. D’sa, PUCL State president. In the scuffle that followed, Colin D’Souza, a PUCL member, was injured.

Case filed

The St. Aloysius College management has filed a case with the Mangalore North Police Station, claiming that when the college authorities tried to clear the way obstructed by the placards, Mr D’ Sa and Mr. Lewis ‘manhandled’ staff and students.

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