Patna university (PU) vice chancellor Shambhu Nath Singh sustained cuts in his temple and ear on Saturday, when a group of students assaulted him on the staircase leading to his chambers in the university office building.
A complaint was filed in this connection at the Pirbahore police station against eight activists of the all India students' federation (AISF) and 10 others. It was filed on behalf of university proctor K Prasad.
University sources said this was the third assault on the V-C. He had been manhandled at his office in 2011 and on January 25, 2012, some miscreants had assaulted him at his residence.
In the complaint letter, the university authorities have warned that unless immediate action was taken against those responsible for the assault, they would be left with no option other than to close PU indefinitely.
Among those named in the complaint was Patna university students' union vice president Anshuman and its general secretary Anshu Kumari. Both are members of AISF, the students' wing of the CPI.
On their part, the protestors claimed they had only tried to stop the V-C from entering his chambers, without acknowledging that they were on hunger strike for the past several days.
"We did not assault him. Rather, some other persons had resorted to violence", said an AISF activist.
The Patna university teachers' association (PUTA) announced it would observe a token strike on March 11, in protest against the assault on the V-C.
The V-C confirmed the assault but refused to go into details. As such it was left to PU registrar VK Yadav, dean of students' welfare KN Paswan, PUTA president PK Poddar and Patna college principal RBP Singh to jointly brief the media on what happened.
According to these officials, the assault on the V-C took place around 1 pm when he was returning to his office after inaugurating a function at the Patna science college, located a few hundred metres away.
A group of students, which was staging a sit in next to the staircase, the officials said, pounced upon the V-C, rained blows on him and tore his shirt. Later, a bleeding V-C was given first aid in his chamber.
"It was only when his bodyguard drew his gun that the assaulters retreated", they said, adding that university officials were not getting adequate security from the authorities.
Singh, the PU V-C, is a chosen appointee of Bihar governor-cum-chancellor Devanand Konwar and is not in the good books of the Nitish Kumar government.
Singh was among several V-Cs whose appointment (on August 1, 2011) was quashed by the Patna high court on December 7 last year, on the ground that the state government was not consulted in the matter.
However, Konwar reappointed him vide an order dated February 9 this year after including his name on a panel sent to the government to cover the requirement of consultation.
Bihar education minister PK Shahi stated in the assembly recently that the chancellor went ahead to reappoint Singh even after the government had cited charges of financial misconduct against him.