[ The objective of this post is NOT to spread any communal hatred. I have only one side of the story, and will add to the details from anything provided by both the sides, the locals as well as non-locals. As for the people threatening me, namely Dinesh Darnal, you can add to this post if you have any details of the incident which I missed out obviously being on one side of the matter. Threatening me only makes the matter worse. ]
Starting yesterday, SMIT,the advertised as ‘peaceful’ college, has turned into a playground of possibly political power, communal violence and total dismay.
My involvement in the matter although was minimal, I did enough to make sure I am not the silent sufferer. Our country’s corruption and political incorrectness has survived too long on the very sole hope of this silent suffering of the common man. But, I want to make sure that everyone who is reading this knows that this generation is not just a fun loving ignorant bunch of spoilt brats. When the need arrives, we can unite our voices and forces. The facts stated here are true to the best of my knowledge, and some of them, I have witnessed in live. If supplied with amply, information will be added as provided.
It all started from a simple matter which could have been settled easily and simply, had the guilty ones kept their ego at bay and acted wisely, i.e. accepted guilt. As we all know, in these situations, rumors spread wilder than fire, and this case is no exception. But of all the facts I could aggregate, the chronology of events (I have maintained the order, tried my best to state the time) stands as given below:
- [ 06-09-09, 1315 hrs ] The events fired up with Diwas, probably a local student invited Ujjwal, a non-local into a one on one fight over a trivial football match, in his hostel room. On the same day, Anand Prakash was reportedly hit in the face by Kunga Bhutia when he was rudely asked to return a ball which went out of ground and Anand refused.
- [ 06-09-09 ] Diwas, once again driven by utter hatred and a clouded judgement called in Kunga, who’s history of involvements in fights goes back to before he came into this college.
- Kunga, who initially joined NIT Durgpur, by possible political influences, was actually rusticated from there due to his pugnacious nature. From there, he found immediate shelter at SMIT, with possible political aid, [Edit : Initially stated, "his mother being the education minister of the state" : The statement is not true. My apologies to all readers and those involved. ] , by the virtue of which, he gets to keep a motorbike, whereas any form of personal transportation is strictly prohibited to be kept by the college students.
- [ 07-09-09, sometime afternoon ] Kunga comes in, ready with his henchmen from outside the college and atleast 50 of them, who have been involved in numerous brawls with him, rough up Ujjwal, Gautam, Chandan and Jitendar and beat them up to the extent of them needing immediate medical attention. Surprisingly here, Gautam and Chandan were called in by the hostel attendant, Mr. Prakash, who had called them saying the hostel superintendant wanted to talk to them.
- [ 07-09-09, evening ] The four report to Kamal Thakur, our hostel superintendent who has a long infamous history in the college.
- Kamal Thakur, instead of calling any form of medical aid, thinks it wiser to call the police. Which is more valuable? Getting medical aid to students or getting the innocent into jail?
- Seeing the inaccurate judgement of Kamal Thakur and the college administration in the matter, the students call in an ambulance on their own. The ambulance arrives before the police, even though being called after them.
- The injured are being taken out of the college campus, but the guards deny them passage, when Kunga and group arrives for a second time, pull the injured out of the ambulance van, and assault them in open, in front of the guards. Not only this, they bring the four to Kamal Thakur’s office, assaulting them all the way, beat them up in front of Kamal Thakur, the Chief Hostel Warden Mr. G.C. Mishra and Mr. Amitava Ray, who resorts to acquiescence. What are these dummy posts for? They can only happily burst into our rooms to cut off LAN wires? what now?
- Students start gathering in front of the educational wing, and start a peace protest. Police comes in, takes the beaten ups into custody, so being the police we know of! Some peaceful people demand their release stating their innocence; get an immediate lathi-charge. What is the college’s response to this?
- [ 08-09-09 around 2400hrs ]Kunga is called to a disciplinary meeting, he arrives after already have beaten up an Assamese and threatening a senior MCA student of life. According to the threatened student, Kunga was carrying a potentially lethal weapon and put it to the senior’s throat while threatening him, clearly showing his disregard of human life and making his point of being powerful. The Assamese student, my classmate, was severely injured in the arm, which was hit probably by a rod. He reports to have seen knuckles and bar rods with Kunga and group. Kunga walks away midway in the meeting, gestures a middle finger to all the peace protesters and the teachers.
- [ 08-09-09 around 2400hrs ] The gathering gets bigger; students start a peace protest to get their innocent friends back. They hold ground all night occupying the roads in front of the educational wings. Teachers arrive occasionally to enjoy the show and stand there making a mockery of themselves.
- [ 08-09-09 between 2400hrs and 0200 hrs] Police search the local mob, finds knives and other lethal weapons in numbers. Many college students reported to have seen waiters from nearby restaurants and eateries entering the college from above fences armed with kitchen knives and other sharp weapons.
- Demands put by student:
- Release of the innocent students.
- Rustication of Kunga from the college.
- Police arrives in full force. 3 Police jeeps and 1 RAF jeep is stationed. The injured four are denied any medical treatment, neither any contact. Doctors are arranged by students and sent to the injured.
- [ 0300 hrs ] Another RAF jeep arrives.
- [ Sometime later ] Amar Akshat volunteers to initiate talks with the police, but to no avail. In the meanwhile, police releases one of the injured, with ample threats from the SP (of destroying the four’s careers with some charge-sheet framing them of severe accusations). The student, obviously putting career before anything else, requests the mob to disperse. The mob co-operates. He also puts the demand that the four will be released only if the crowd is dispersed, which is seconded by the college Director. All promises eventually turn out to be fake. There is no release of students.
More forces being deployed :
- [ 08-09-09 0900 hrs ] After sometime, the peace protest seeing the turn of events, and feeling cheated by the Director turns into a violent mob. They take to arms and decide to fight for their justice.
- [ 08-09-09 1000 hrs to 1400 hrs ]They make three failed attempts to reach the local crowd which stands behind the police, with full protection from them. In the meanwhile, the news media which was initially disallowed entrance into the college, was allowed in to report all but the violent crowd of the non-local group, bringing shame to our college. As, all this continues, some locals form small guerrilla groups and attack people at random, possibly from the other hostel door.
- In the brawl and the tension that follows, police throws 3 tear gas cans, makes ruthless lathi-charge and protects the local populace all the way. [ Edit : There have been reports of locals getting lathi-charge from the police as well. The news reached me this late due to lack of communication from the other side. My source for this information is the news media and comments. ]
- [1600 hrs] Rain starts, mob gets thinner. People disperse as rain gets heavier. The innocent people are released. Just after we disperse, the RAF personnel get into the block where the first years stay and assault them mercilessly without any proper evidence or charges, let alone reason. It was a situation of total chaos. The police and armed forces could do no better than attack the innocent yet again and again.[ EDIT : One of my friends has reported to me saying the police did NOT attack him in spite of him being in close vicinity of them and in spite of being a non-local. ]
The aftermath :
Our college has been closed down for the moment a long time till the 5th of October, some say for a period of 10 days, many unsure of the truth in the fact. The local populace at Rangpo did not even let the CRPF into Sikkim. What concerns us most is that with the police unable of guaranteeing their entry into the Sikkim, and the local mob standing right beside the armed RAF with arms, who do we appeal to for safety. The matter has gone political now as the Health Minister of Assam is reported to be visiting Sikkim regarding the security of the Assamese students in SMIT, numbering at least 800. Nitish Kumar from Bihar has talked to the CM of Sikkim regarding the same matter.
If you do not already know, our college has never allowed student unions inside of the college feeling political involvement, but today’s event has proved that we do not really need a students union to be united. All we need is a just cause. We are the next generation. We can stand against evil and once again, we won’t be the silent sufferers.
For previous security reasons, I could not aggregate the facts from the other side of the story. If anyone in the locals have any information to share with me or any news you want published here, please send it to my email possibly with a photographs and your phone number. I will be more than happy to accept it. I want to state the truth and not any communal hatred as suggested from this one-sided report.
Also, if any of you feel it wise and necessary to get your view out to the public, you can post a comment. Please do not use any abusive language.
News channels have already started reporting on this. There have been false reports of rubber bullets being fired. Please do not post half stated facts and stories from only one half of the incident. The matter is already communal.
We were assured fully protected escort, which was not provided, or maybe not properly provided. We were being sent in lots, and news is, one of the first three lots were apprehended midway by the locals. Any further information is pending.
I am safely back home. There was no sight of police or any defensive aid from anywhere to escort us as stated everywhere. I am currently reading all threats I got in the comments everywhere.
Here is another report by a local student Dipesh Pradhan. This report once again, blames the administration for turning a blind eye to the matter. There is evidently a lot of fact missing in between the two reports, mine and his. But there one thing we agree on.
Read the other side of the story here : Dipesh’s Blog
Here is an interesting comment on this post at Voice Of Sikkim:
The reasons why Engineers fight in SMIT
1. They are here not because they want it but their parents want it
2. They are not here to understand Engineering but good placements
3. Many students want Attention and they don’t’ get it so they resort to fighting
4. The local students have big attitude problem as they are spoon fed by everybody
5. The Non Locals (Not International) have big problem as they are inefficient in all fields except Mathematics and that too Mugging up.
6. The teachers don’t’ know what they are doing……….Highly Incapable of many things
7.The administration wants money and nothing else so students from all useless categories come here to dwell
8.The management keeps on changing like Call girls
9. No body cares for the College
What parents had to say on the matter :
Read here : Parents on SMIT incident