Last weekend, a group of around 10 to 15 students linked to Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) gate-crashed into the campus of St Xavier’s College, Mapusa and created a huge tamasha ostensibly in the “interest of the students.”
That only three students of the college participated in the ABVP-sponsored protest out of the 1,500 odd students studying at St Xavier’s in itself tells a story.
The ABVP students acted like a bunch of hooligans forcibly entering live classrooms, shouting slogans and ordering the students to quit the classes and join the protest leaving most of the class students and the teachers petrified.
But that’s not our story. What we found odd in a well-orchestrated protest is the role of the Mapusa Police who took almost an hour to arrive at the spot of action.
Instead of taking proactive action against a handful of ABVP students, the police appeared to encourage the protestors by remaining mute spectators.
For just about a dozen of the protestors, there were nearly two dozen police personnel on the site doing nothing but merely watching the tamasha as the ABVP students shouted slogans and abused the management and faculty.
It appeared the police were deliberately allowing the students to protest and create a scene in the college.
Sources informed The Goan that the police had received clear instructions to let the ABVP students hold the protest and that no force should be applied to displace them.
For over three hours, the ABVP students were allowed to hold the college under ransom.
Even DySP Jivba Dalvi arrived at the spot after 1 pm, leaving a lot of questions on the role of the police in the incident.
“Why were the police not taking action? How is it possible that the police are present at the site but not lifting the students who are creating an unlawful assembly on campus? It looked like the police were providing protection to the ABVP students,” said Aldona MLA Carlos Ferreira.
Role of Magistrate
The focus then shifted to the office of the Sub-Divisional Magistrate who was supposed to decide on the law and order created by the ABVP students.
The two SDMs of Bardez along with the college administration and the students held a closed-door meeting for over an hour the details of which was officially not revealed to the public.
Surprisingly, instead of deciding on the law and problem, the magistrate directed the college management to induct the Student’s Council by February 4.
The government officials who also appeared to be working under pressure apparently conveyed a pre-planned fiat to the college management.
“If the magistrate has indeed passed an order to direct the college to induct the Student’s Council, then it is without his jurisdiction. It is illegal,” said Ferreira, who was a former Advocate General of the State.
It was a festering sore that burst out in the form of the ABVP protest in St Xavier’s College on Saturday last week.
The student, Sahil Mahajan, was duly elected the General Secretary of the college on November 8 but what followed after the election result left a bad taste in the mouth of the college administration almost vitiating the atmosphere in the educational institute which for ages is known to keep away from student politics.
Soon after the election results were out, ABVP members, most of whom were not students of the college, entered the campus and hoisted the ABVP flags all around the campus.
A vexed management then cracked the whip and decided not to induct the Student Council for the academic year which was conveyed to all the elected class representatives.
Perhaps, here is where the college erred.
“The college management should have immediately disqualified the student elected as the General Secretary and appointed a new person in his place,” a professor of a prominent college in South Goa informed.
This story is taken from The Goan
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