Orissa university closed after violence over gang rape

February 26th, 2008 - 11:40 am ICT by admin  

Bhubaneswar, Feb 26 (IANS) A university in Orissa has been closed indefinitely following violent protests by students over the alleged gang rape of a student, officials said Tuesday. Four suspects have been arrested in this connection. Sambalpur University at Jyoti Vihar Burla in the district of Sambalpur, some 350 km from here, was declared closed after hundreds of students Monday evening ransacked several offices and damaged computers and university properties worth about Rs.10 million, a top official of the university told IANS.

“Looking at the situation, we closed the university for the time being,” Vice Chancellor U.C. Biswal confirmed.

Hundreds of students blocked several roads, disrupted traffic movement in both Burla and Sambalpur towns Monday and beat up two university officials, police said.

The protesting students also accused police of failing to nab all the alleged rapists of a 20-year-old student of the university who was found traumatized with multiple injuries at the nearby Sambalpur town Sunday morning.

The first semester student of Masters in Computer Application (MCA) was missing after she reportedly left the university hostel for shopping Saturday evening.

Police suspect she was abducted, administered drugs and raped. She also has several burn marks possibly caused by cigarettes, a senior police official said.

“We have arrested four persons in this connection,” the official said.

The student is being treated at Veer Surendra Sai Medical College Hospital at Burla. “She is stable and recovering,” the police official said.

The students are accusing the hostel authorities of callousness. They said the authorities did not inform the police on time that the student was missing.

“The hostel authorities should have informed the police when the girl did not return to the hostel (on time),” student leader Hemant Meher said.

“Rather the hostel authorities tried to escape, showing the girl in hostel register as present on that night.

“We want immediate arrests of all the culprits and action against hostel superintendents.

“Unless and until that is done we will continue our agitation,” he threatened.

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