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Fresh student brawl on campus shuts Sharda University till Sunday

GREATER NOIDA: Sharda University shut down its Greater Noida campus till Sunday after students fought on campus on Thursday for the second time this week. Late at night, an FIR was filed under charges of rioting and other sections of the IPC at Knowledge Park police station against 350-400 unknown people.


“Since no one was ready to file a complaint, police decided to lodge an FIR on its own. The accused will be identified from CCTV footage,” said an officer at Knowledge Park police station.
Violence flared up at the campus, roiled by protests since Sunday when an Afghan student was suspended following a brawl with an Indian classmate, after a group of students suddenly turned on two first-year students during a protest seeking the suspension of another youth from Afghanistan — a masters student — for his alleged role in the brawl last Monday.
The private university had to cancel exams slated for Thursday and postpone the ongoing exams.
It was not clear what the latest provocation was. The atmosphere had become tense as a group of activists from a right-wing outfit raised ‘Vande Mataram’ and ‘Bharat mata ki jai’ slogans in support of the Indian students. Section of students joined the protesters.
There was speculation that the attack on the first-year youths was the result of mistaken identity. The student beaten up was Ehtesham Bilal, who is from Kashmir and is in the first year of his BMIT course. The attack, at Block 4 of the university, was captured in a video. Ehtesham, who suffered injuries on his right elbow and head, said at least three students who attacked him had told him he should get his admission cancelled. “I know the three students who attacked me. I can identify them. They were abusive and used anti-Muslim language,” he said.


His friend Ubaid, also a first-year student, was beaten up by the group as well. Police deployed on campus failed to prevent the violence. The university later called a meeting with students, police and the subdivisional magistrate (Sadar).
The university has so far suspended three Afghan students after they were seen in a video clip beating up an Indian student on Monday, during a quarrel that started over a petty issue and escalated quickly, but a section of students has been demanding more suspensions.
On Monday, it suspended Raheem Khan, a first-year BBA student “due to a physical fight between first-year students of BBA in front of Mandela hostel.” Sadat Sayed Kashifi, a third-year BTech student, and Abdul Samim Qaderi, an MTech student who, according to the university, were “found to be involved in the incident” were also suspended on Wednesday.
Ajit Kumar, joint registrar and spokesperson for Sharda University, said although Samim was suspended on Wednesday, the order could not be communicated to students on time.
Some students, meanwhile, alleged members of Rashtriya Swabhimaan Dal, including Deepak Sharma — who uploads abusive videos on social media about foreign students at the university — had entered the university on Tuesday night.
“I read messages on WhatsApp asking Indian students to gather at the university on Thursday morning and stating that ‘these people’ should be taught a lesson. One of the students from a hostel seems to be close to Sharma who seemed to have got entry in the university,” said a student.
Ajit Kumar told TOI the university had referred the issue to a three-member committee, comprising the dean (school of languages), chief proctor and director (administration).



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