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Admin keeps quiet as KIIT evacuated in state of emergency: Brutal riots between engineering, law students injure dozens

Picture in aftermath of KIIT campus bloodshed, yesterday
Picture in aftermath of KIIT campus bloodshed, yesterday

Nearly all 400-odd law students and a number of engineering students of KIIT Bhubaneswar were evacuated from campus last night, following several days of tensions and violent clashes with the engineering college.

The clashes had seen at least 22 students admitted to hospital for injuries, according to one student. Two law students had been admitted to the intensive care units (ICU), who are apparently fine now, according to the law school source, who declined to be named.

Meanwhile, fake news has been making the rounds too in the chaos. One message had been circulated amongst students on WhatsApp and on social media and falsely claimed that a student had died in the violence. This is not true, according to our sources.

The amount of misinformation and rumour circulating on social media and WhatsApp has acted to further inflame tensions and rally support, with some messages having predicted that 9,000 engineering students were to descend on the law school campus.

We have reached out to KIIT registrar Prof Sasmita Samanta by messages and phone call yesterday and today, but have received no response.

Update 14:50: We have also reached out to KIIT law school director Prof NK Chakrabarti and dean Prof Prafulla Chandra Mishra for comment, after publication.

According to several students, the KIIT administration had been trying to bury the story in local media and had failed in its duty. One alumni posted on Facebook:

Dear All KIIT Students, I am an ex-student of KIIT School of Law, KIIT University. This is to bring to everyone’s notice that KIIT Administration has failed to do it’s duty and there is no adminstration to monitor the safety and security of students studying at KIIT.

A case in point: administration member and director of KIIT’s student activity centre Sucheta Priyabadini, posted on Facebook around 1pm today that “nothing has happened to any students and campus”:

An incident of Eve- Teasing was reported day before yesterday as a consequence of which brawl arose between two group of students. Tension arose and was sorted without any delay. Yesterday it erupted again with the same 2 groups of students at conflict. To avoid further untoward incident we vacated the hostels located close to each other. After that it has been back to normal. No further incident has happened as it’s blown out of proportion in social media by vested interests. Nothing has happened to any students and campus. The protection and security of our students is our priority.

The photos and videos available on social media told a different story, with several videos graphically portray mobs of (allegedly engineering) students savagely beating other students with long sticks, pelting stones and other objects for minutes at a time.

What happened

Stones and sticks pelted at hostel
Stones and sticks pelted at hostel

The chaotic situation has made it hard to separate claims and counter-claims, but according to most accounts, this is what happened.

Things had started off on Friday (23 November) after a student of KIIT’s engineering school had allegedly harassed a female KIIT law student.

According to several reports of students and on social media, law students in the evening confronted the engineering students at the adjoining engineering hostel to get the alleged harasser to apologise.

By Saturday, 24 November, engineering students - who greatly outnumber the roughly 400 law students at the 20,000-odd student university - began attacking law students with makeshift weapons, according to student accounts.

The Quint has reported that the SRPF has now been deployed, according to the Quint.

Some engineering students have apparently claimed that the law students had begun the violence, while law students claim that the engineers had kicked it off.

This is an account posted yesterday from a Facebook page called Deadly Law, run by KIIT alumnus and Calcutta high court advocate Dilawar Khan:

This is here to bring into notice of all the people reading this. Yesterday, outside the campus of KIIT school of law, Bhubaneswar, a female student from school of law was teased by few students from Engineering department. The students of law, showing their composure, immediately demanded the alleged students outside their hostel to say sorry, which happened only after nearly 3 hours.

In its repercussion, the students of the engineering branch gathered in hundreds at the gates of the law college, and starting pelting stones, bottles, and even knives. Later, the rioters entered into one of the law hostels, bashed unaware students with stones and bats. Atleast 22 students are now in hospital.

However the authorities are in no mood to take any strict action and are just trying to supress the matter.

Below is a video of how unaware law students were brutally beaten up by students of engineering.

All of this happened because the authorities are very linient in taking the safety of students of law seriously and are just concerned with their own reputation which is already being tarnished.

The students of law were humble enough yesterday, to not use violence to resolve the matter. As a result, the students were beaten up and even authorities are not cooperative.

Please share this post to stand in solidarity with our fellow law students at KIIT School of Law, and to let people know how the institution treats the security of its students.

Link to post and video here (warning, contains graphic, violent video content of students trapped in an open lift, assaulted by a mob with sticks).

Deadly Law added today:

What happened yesterday at the School of Law, KIIT University, Bhubaneswar was not only horribly wrong, but also shameful. The preparators of the attack not only did attack the students, they used their numeric strength to defame the female student who was harassed day before yesterday, circulating her name and photo on whatsapp to instigate people against her and target her.

Despite all the clashes of yesterday, with so many students injured, the authorities failed to stop the rising mob, who again threatened to attack the campus at night.

As a result, the campus of KIIT School of Law has been vacated in the middle of the night. Everyone, including students of First Year who are new to the city, and all the female students were taken to Railway station and Airport through buses with no specific destination to go and were left there in the middle of the night. Yes, the institute left all of their students in the middle of night, brushing off their duty.

The very fact that the institute took the rioting engineering students as well as Law students, both, to the Railway station tells a story about how the institute has just brushed off their duty by leaving all the clashing students out of their campus. Yes, they dropped both the lot of students at the SAME place.

The print media had a word with just the Btech students, as a result, the local newspapers are filled with lies and manipulations with illogical arguments like the students of law threw a beer bottle on them that instigated the fight. However it is a clear fact that ‘They’ assembled in hundreds and law students cant roam with beer bottles in campus. We all have witnessed yesterday how they came with stones and weapons inside the campus.

FIR has been lodged, Petitions are being drafted. The institute has failed brutally to perform its duties. The institute failed to support a student who was harassed. Had the authorities acted promptly and brought the alleged student out of the hostel the moment it started, the matter would have ended then and there. They delayed it for nearly 3 hours to the point where the students of law had to call the police. The Law students are around 400 in an institute where engineering students are around 10 thousand.

If you go to the previous post you will find people with fake IDs commenting on the moral character of the female student. They already have circulated her photos and name throughout the university. This not only tells their mentality, but also tells how hell bent they are to deviate it from the fact that their student initiated this entire scenario of chaos.

Update: KIIT had released the following statement on Sunday:

KIIT statement
KIIT statement

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