2 Ex-Students Arrested Over Unrest At Utkal University In Bhubaneswar

Bhubaneswar: Two former students of Utkal University were arrested on Monday for their alleged involvement in the ruckus during a seminar at the varsity campus in Bhubaneswar.

Sources said the Commissionerate police arrested two ex-students in connection with the incident in which two persons were injured at the university campus in Vani Vihar on Sunday.

Tension gripped the campus after some people created a ruckus opposing  JNU Professor Surajit Mazumdar who was delivering a lecture at the seminar on ‘Indian Constitution and Education Policy’ organised by Citizens’ Forum at PG Council Hall.

It was alleged that activists of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) attacked students and intellectuals who had assembled during the seminar, causing injuries to two persons. They allegedly tore off the banner, created disturbance and attacked the organisers, the sources said

Citizens’ Forum convenor Pradeepta Nayak told the media that the protesters raised objections to Mazumdar’s speech and started abusing him. Despite him saying that the speaker would answer their questions later, they walked up to the stage and demanded that the meeting be cancelled.

A heated exchange of words ensued between the organisers of the seminar and the opposers thereafter.  “They brutally attacked and manhandled me and professor Surendra Jena and tore our shirts while we were trying to pacify them,” he said.

In a viral video, they can clearly be seen coming to blows. Later, both groups filed FIRs against each other at Saheed Nagar police station.

“They objected to Mazumdar’s statement that the country was going in a ‘different direction’ and thrashed us when we tried to stop them. We were later rescued by police,” Jena said.

Later in the evening, ABVP activists staged a demonstration in front of the main gate of the university raising slogans against Prof Mazumdar. They also set fire to a banner of the seminar as a mark of their protest, the sources added.

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