Tension prevailed inside Ravenshaw University campus here on Thursday afternoon after groups of local and foreign students clashed over a trivial matter. At least three students, including one from Afghanistan, were injured in the clash during which irate students also went on the rampage attacking photo journalists who rushed to the spot for covering the incident.

Police said at least five FIRs were filed by the photo journalists naming the university students' union president Harishankar Rout as leading a group of students assaulting the scribes with hockey sticks, cricket bats and wicket stumps. A student reportedly brandished a country-made revolver while chasing the journalists in abusive language, the FIRs said.

Vikash Sharma of ‘Shruti', Rashmiranjan Mohapatra of ‘Pragativadi', Srijit Satapathy of ‘Sambad', Tirupati Mohanty of ETV and Rajkumar Naik of Kanak TV sustained injuries, while Sharma and Mohapatra were hospitalised with severe injuries.

The incident occurred when the photographers rushed to the venue after hearing reports of a clash between the rival students around 4 p.m. Armed with lethal weapons and stones, the local students were seen attacking a handful of Afghanistan students, the police said. According to the university authorities, some boarders of the New PG Hostel of the campus were having a discussion with university Registrar Smarapriya Mishra over certain problems of their hostel. Not satisfied with the assurances, the students immediately locked the university main gate in protest.

War of words

“It was during the same time a group of Afghan students wanted to go out of the campus after their exams but the protestors refused to open the locked gate which led to an exchange of heated words between them. Soon the rival groups traded blows and threw stones at each other,” the sources said.

However, the situation was brought under control after police arrived on the spot. Police chased the attackers and took the injured persons to hospital after rescuing them. While the university campus was tense after the incident, two sections of armed police were deployed inside the campus till reports last came in.