The high profile Maharashtra Institute of Technology (MIT) in Pune faced the wrath of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena youth activists on Saturday over the issue of "discrimination against local students" in admissions to various courses.
About 30 members of Vidyarthi Sena (MNS students' wing) vandalised the institute premises when MIT executive director Mangesh Karad left the place without meeting them and instructed the staff not to allow them in, an MNS spokesperson said.
"We had sent a memorandum to the institute a fortnight ago demanding 90 percent admissions to local candidates and when we saw exactly opposite of that happening, we sought a meeting with the MIT authorities to sort out the matter," Kishor Shinde, Vidyarthi Sena city unit president told IANS.
A similar memorandum was sent out to all "donation seeking" education institutes in the city including Symbiosis, Shinde added.
Alleging that huge amounts ranging from Rs.200,000 to Rs.1 million are extracted from students for admission to engineering and business management courses, Shinde said police had rounded up over half a dozen "agents" appointed for the purpose from the MIT premises last year.
Police inspector Gautam Deshmukh confirmed last year's arrests, saying cases against the alleged agents are pending in court.
"Three young men have been arrested in connection with today's (Saturday) incident and police are on the look out for the remaining law breakers, including some girls," Deshmukh said.
MNS chief spokesperson Shirish Parkar told IANS that the very purpose of ensuring admission for local students with which then chief minister late Vasantdada Patil allowed opening of no-grant basis colleges in the early 1980swas being defeated by the rapacity of the institutes like MIT.
"Long after recovering their investment costs, these greedy institutes continue to take donations for 'profits' without compunction," Parkar said, adding that the agitation against such practices has just begun.
Denouncing the vandalism, MIT principal Rahul Karad told the media that discriminating between students on the basis of state would go against the spirit of constitution.