Students involved in vandalism will be suspended: AEC Principal
The students of Assam Engineering College (AEC) who were arrested for vandalism at a marriage ceremony are to be suspended for a few weeks.
“Entering a marriage house at night is not acceptable and all the students found guilty will be suspended for some period of time,” AEC Principal, Dr Atul Bora said.
He informed that a committee has been formed in the college to enquire into the episode and suggest disciplinary action against the students. The final decision will also be based on the findings of the probe by the police. The same has not yet been completed.
A police official did not rule out the possibility of more students being arrested on the same charge from the college. So far, nine students have been arrested.
Bora made a case for more security personnel in the college and added that a proposal would be sent to the government for improving the infrastructure of the college.
The principal felt that the hostel warden was above any blame since he could not lie awake the whole night.
We were beaten up first: AEC students
Some colleagues of the students who were arrested for vandalism are of the firm opinion that the locals were to blame for beating up their friends who were in the marriage party.
“Our boys were going to Jalukbari to have food when the road was blocked by the people celebrating a marriage party. They even misbehaved with our students,” said an AEC student of hostel number 1 adding that they were stopped, pulled out from the car and thrashed when they were returning to the hostel.
As the college week is going on, the function ended late on 20th February and the hostel kitchens were closed.
The students alleged that 5 students were in the car and they dispersed after they were beaten up by the “locals” of Sundarbari. Subsequently, other hostel inmates reached the spot to help their injured friends.
The students defended their move saying that they carried sticks and wood because the “locals” were carrying sharp knives.
The family of Banikanta Baruah (bride’s father) said that the students were drunk and entered the marriage venue to create a disturbance. “They misbehaved with females, snatched gold chains and even thrashed many people,” claimed Baruah’s family members.
Vandalism exposes anomalies in AEC
Leading academics have questioned the role and efficacy of the AEC authority after the arrest of the students.
Principal of KC Das College, Ghanashyam Nath said, “It is the responsibility of the authorities to restrict the students. Why were they allowed to exit the hostel at night?”
In the same vein, vice chancellor of Gauhati University, Dr Mridul Hazarika said, “The students lack guidance and counselling these days and the authorities should provide it.”
After the incident, it has come to light that the AEC campus does not have a boundary wall. The road passing through the campus is the property of the Public Works Department (PWD) and is always open for the public.
The warden of Hostel No 1, Biswanath Dekaraja said, “I was sleeping when the incident happened and I was not aware that our students had gone there. I should have been informed by the security personnel when they found the students leaving the hostel.”
He made a case for upgrading the infrastructure and deployment of more security personnel.
Some students of the college said that dumpers keep plying throughout the night but the authorities have never bothered to take any action.
Another professor who did not wish to be named blamed the education department since several proposals for improving the infrastructure of the college have been gathering dust.
Many students lamented the lack of orientation or counselling programmes unlike other institutes in the country.