Miscreants attempted to set two hostellers ablaze in Sant Kabir Hostel of Deen Dayal Upadhyay Gorakhpur University late on Monday night.
Santosh alias Bantu Singh, a student of BA second year, and Meraj Lari, a student of MA first year, sustained serious burns.
Dr Hriday Hular Nag of BRD Medical College said while Santosh suffered 72 per cent burns, Meraj sustained 70 per cent burns. Doctors at the Baba Raghav Das Medical College here referred Santosh to the Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Lucknow.
Police registered a case against the five accused, including Vaibhav Shahi, Sanjiv Chaurasia, Raj Kapoor Rai and Gaurav Shahi, who are absconding.
The fifth accused was not identified. Police picked up close relatives of the accused and questioned them.
According to reports, the incident was the fallout of a scuffle between Santosh Singh and a shoe merchant. Student leader Raj Kapoor Rai, a friend of the trader, was present during the scuffle and vowed to teach Santosh a lesson.
Raj and his accomplices reached the hostel on two motorcycles on Monday night. They locked all the rooms adjacent to the room where Santosh and Meraj resided. Then the assailants doused them with petrol and set them ablaze. Meraj suffered burns in a bid to save Santosh.
DIG GL Mina, SSP RK Rai and acting vice-chancellor AK Mittal rushed to the hostel and moved the victims to hospital.
SSP RK Rai said that NSA could be invoked against the miscreants. Mittal suspended Raj, who is also a university student. The others are reported to be outsiders.
Mittal inspected the hostel and convened an emergency meeting of wardens and superintendents to tighten security.