Efforts are on to resolve the stand-off between two students in one of the hostels at the North Eastern Hill University (NEHU), hostel authorities said today.
NEHU authorities stated it was a minor altercation between students on shifting of hostel room without permission or intimation to the authorities.
The university has come under pressure to act on the alleged assault of a hostel resident.
On August 13 a NEHU student filed an FIR with police claiming to have been assaulted by two individuals in one of the university’s hostels. The incident took place the evening before when the two assailants barged into the hostel room and confronted the complainant’s roommate before turning on him. The duo reportedly asked the student to which community he belonged and assaulted him after he identified himself as a Garo, the FIR states. The assault only ended after other hostellers intervened.
A social activist, Joshua Marak, then said that the victim was under pressure to withdraw the FIR and had been threatened with expulsion from the hostel if he did not comply.
Yesterday, the A’chik NEHU Students Union (ANSU) condemned the assault against the student, who the union described as its advisor.
ANSU demanded that NEHU, the police and the state government take action against “the goons who are creating a traumatic situation and disturbing the peace and tranquility between different communities.”
Students from outside Shillong prefer to stay on campus as it is convenient for them and a university should be a space to mould students to be civilised and responsible, therefore such assaults should not be tolerated, it added.
ANSU also warned that the incident should not be “buried in the name of compromise” as that will only send a signal that violence of this kind will go unpunished in future.
Meanwhile, social activist Cherian Momin also wrote to the NEHU Vice-Chancellor to express “deep shock and outrage” regarding the incident.
Momin condemned the “reprehensible” assault and implored NEHU, police and the government “to rise to the occasion and take immediate and stern action against those responsible for perpetrating this appalling act.”
He also expressed disappointment “in the lack of immediate action taken by the officers in charge, even after the filing of the FIR. Such inaction sends a disheartening message to both the victim and the entire student body.”