Twenty youths were injured and several vehicles damaged when students from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-BHU and Law faculty clashed and pelted stones at each other over a minor dispute of sharing cricket playground.
The incident took place Thursday evening, following which two student hostels — Bhagwan Das (Law Faculty) and C V Raman (IIT-BHU) — were evacuated. Force from several police stations and the PAC had to be called-in to bring the situation under control. Vice-Chancellor Prof G C Tripathi, who was invited to attend a programme at Allahabad University, remained on the campus to monitor the situation.
A formal complaint has been lodged by the IIT-BHU against unidentified students and an FIR has been registered at Lanka police station in this connection.
At least one student, Saurabh Meena of IIT-BHU, sustained burn injuries on his back. It is suspected that a petrol bomb was hurled at him.
According to the police, a group of inmates from Bhagwan Das hostel were playing cricket on the grounds of Rajputana Hostel, which belongs to the IIT-BHU, in the evening. Several students from IIT-BHU’s C V Raman hostel and some others came there and objected to them playing there.
The Law Faculty students reportedly decided to hold ground saying they will leave in a few minutes. However, an argument ensued between the two groups and soon escalated into fisticuffs.
With inmates from other hostels of IIT-BHU joining in and Law Faculty students being supported by those from other faculties, things soon spiralled out of control with heavy stone-pelting from both the sides. Several motorcycles parked outside Bhagwan Das hostel were damaged and one bike was set afire. A BHU security van was also damaged.
V-C Tripathi reached the spot and sought to control the situation by appealing to the students to restore calm. However, when the students did not pay heed, it was decided to call in the PAC and the police.