In the wake of clashes involving college students from other States, the police, college managements and residents feel that parents and owners of houses rented to students from other States (mostly from Kerala) are equally responsible for such incidents.
Students, who are not staying in the hostels also escape restrictions such as not using mobile phones and to be inside the institution premises in time.
“Parents of many such students are working abroad. They give money that their wards ask them – in the pretext of pursuing a computer course or for their project. But these parents hardly find time to visit the institution where their dear ones are studying or to enquire with the college staff to know what they are doing,” management member of a group of institutions said.
Staying outside gives them this liberty and to travel elsewhere without the knowledge of the institution.
“We come across many students spending lavishly on buying high-speeding used two-wheelers and cars (with the money pooled in by a group of students) at a very less price without a driving licence and without the knowledge of their parents,” highway and traffic police personnel said.
M. Krishnan, who rents his house in Namakkal to students from Kerala, said that many boys have stayed in his house over the years and have not caused any problem to him or in the locality.
According to him, the main reason for renting house to students is that he is able to get much better rent than renting the house to a family.
“A family of three would give me a monthly rent of Rs. 3,000 for my house. But six to seven students stay here and each pay Rs. 1,500, fetching me Rs. 9,000 and Rs. 10,500 a month,” he said.
These owners also said that a strong referral mode among students is helping them find student occupants every year. “We also need not whitewash the houses frequently – like how we do before a new tenant (family) occupies the house,” they added.
People residing in localities near the places where the students stay with their peers say that owners of houses where students are staying should also play a responsible role.
Referring to issues such as movement of boys during the late hours of the night, they added that they have told owners of those houses to be strict to students so that the neighbourhood will not be disturbed.
“Shockingly, some of the house owners act as guardians or parents of the student and come to the college in support of the boys, when the boys are involved in some mischief,” staff in an engineering college in Rasipuram said.
“Most of the students live in a particular area as groups. If the owners report incidents – such as group clashes – involving students to the institution where they are studying or the police, there are chances of avoiding incidents like the one that happened on Thursday. But the house owners turn a deaf ear to us because they don’t want to miss their rent,” laments resident B. Sukumar of Rasipuram.