KARNATAKA

Slugfest between student unions at University College

Six ABVP activists, two of CFI and one of SFI booked

Tension prevailed on the University College campus on Tuesday after a slugfest broke out between student unions.

According to the police, the students belonged to the Bharatiya Janata Patry-affiliated Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), Communist Party of India (Marxist)-affiliated Students Federation of India (SFI) and Popular Front of India-affiliated Campus Front of India (CFI).

Chaos



“All three groups were raining blows on one other. It was utter chaos,” a lecturer of the college told The Hindu on Wednesday on the condition of anonymity.

Mangalore South police confirmed this version. The police have booked cases against six ABVP activists, two CFI activists and one SFI activist.

The college, which has had its share of politically motivated disturbances in the past, witnessed the latest row over a speech made by English lecturer Pattabirama Somayyaji at a public rally organised by the PFI on Monday.

This is not the first time that Mr. Somayyaji has faced the ire of a section of students for speaking out against the Sangh Parivar and its affiliates.

The ABVP, which had targeted the lecturer in the past as well, called for a college strike on Tuesday morning to protest against Mr. Somayyaji's latest speech. But CFI activists resisted this and a fight broke out.

In the middle of all this, the SFI activists started pasting some anti-government posters, inviting the ire of ABVP activists. An old rivalry is said to be the cause for SFI and CFI activists targeting each other.

In a press release, the SFI condemned the “harassment” of the teacher by the ABVP, even as it criticised him for siding with the PFI, which it described as “communal and fundamentalist”.

Concern

Expressing concern over the developments, Vice-Chancellor T.C. Shivashankara Murthy said on Wednesday that the issue would be placed before the Syndicate for discussion.

Meanwhile, Mr. Somayyaji told The Hindu that he did nothing unconstitutional and had every right to address a peaceful gathering.



  • Row over speech made by English lecturer Pattabirama Somayyaji at a public rally
  • Issue will be placed before the Syndicate for discussion, says Vice-Chancellor

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