Six students, who reside at a hostel of Swami Parmanand College of Engineering and Technology, Lalru, sustained injuries in a brawl between Kashmiri and Purvanchal students of the hostel. The brawl took place while they were watching a cricket match between Sri Lanka and Pakistan at 11pm on Tuesday.
Both groups pelted stoned on each other and broke windowpanes and other goods at the hostel. First-year student Ramesh from Jharkhand and second-year student Syed Umer from Kashmir sustained severe injuries, while Rohit, Ravinder and Ravi from Bihar and Abdul Naamdin from Jharkhand also received minor injuries. Five students from one group were under treatment at Dera Bassi civil hospital.
While demanding action against Kashmiri students, Purvanchal students, along with outsiders, blocked traffic of the Ambala-Chandigarh highway for nearly 30 minutes. To avoid any untoward incidents, the management closed the college for 10 days.
According to information, the Purvanchal students had alleged that the Kashmiri students raised slogans in support of Pakistan.
But, SAS Nagar SSP Indermohan Singh Bhatti, SP Anil Sharma and SDM Sanjiv Kumar, who visited the college on Wednesday, denied slogan charges.
However, the police registered a case against local BJP leader Dhami Sharma and 35 unidentified youths involved in blocking traffic under section 8 B of the National Highways Act, 1956, and sections 148 (rioting), 149 (every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence commit­ted in prosecution of common object) and 283(danger or obstruction in public way) of the Indian Penal Code.
On the other hand, Kashmiri students said they never raised any slogans and the other group was trying to defame them. They alleged that the altercation turned violent following objectionable remarks by hostel warden Sandip.
As per reports, nearly 500 students of BTech and other courses are residing in the hostel and nearly half of them are Kashmiris.
College principal TD Sharma said minor misunderstanding between students led to altercation. No controversial slogans were raised from either side. Those who blocked the traffic were not college students but outsiders, he added.
Meanwhile, SSP Indermohan Singh Bhatti said it was a minor issue between students and nobody raised controversial slogans.