Brawls between groups of Indian and Afghan students of Sharda University in Greater Noida, which have been sporadically erupting over the last two days, resulted in fresh violence and ruckus on the campus. The university has been shut down for three days.
Hundreds of students held a noisy protest against the university management on during which a Kashmiri student was also roughed up. A heavy contingent of police was deployed on the campus to maintain order.
A Kashmiri student was beaten up after a fight broke out between groups of Indian and Afghan students at a private university in Greater Noida on Thursday, prompting police to book over 350 students for rioting and related offenses.
The victim, Ahtisham Bilal, a first-year student of Bachelors in Medical Imaging Technology, was rushed to a nearby hospital for medical attention. According to eyewitnesses, he was sitting on the campus’ lawn when he was attacked.
The scuffle follows another incident which was reported on Monday after a video surfaced on social media purportedly showing three Afghan students at the Sharda University roughing up the student.
A senior police official said, “A student from Kashmir was roughed up by other students who are said to have posted provocative messages on a WhatsApp group from the side of the Afghan students involved in the fight on Monday.
These Indian students were apparently aggrieved over the university’s lackadaisical approach on the matter,” The police official, who did not wish to be named, alleged lack of cooperation from the university and said, “The officials of the deemed university have gone carelessly on the matter simmering since Monday and that has led to this situation.”
There was no official response from the university over the incident till the filing of this report Thursday night, although the university announced that classes would remain suspended till Sunday. A meeting was held by the university after Thursday’s incident following which three students allegedly involved in the Monday fight were suspended.
Another police official said, “During the period a probe will be held to ascertain the cause of the fight and action taken against those guilty”.
According to the official, no complaint was made to the police about the scuffle that broke out Thursday in which one Indian student suffered injuries and was taken to a hospital.
The police force was deployed outside the university along with security personnel of the PAC. The university had also stepped up security on its premises and denied entry to outsiders, including the press.
The police official told, “The police have taken the cognizance of the case on its own. The student has suffered minor injuries, more of punches and slaps, but was sent for medical examination so that it could be checked if there is any internal injury or not. We have booked 350-400 students, Indians, and Afghans both, and we are probing the matter. Students are being identified on the basis of the footage that has surfaced and we will soon quiz them and initiate action.”
The policeman said a case has been registered at the Knowledge Park police station. The PAC was removed later in the day while officials from the Knowledge Park and some other police stations were still deployed outside the university, he added.