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Violence Breaks Out at PU During Student Leaders' Swearing-in Event; Many Hurt

PU students lathi-charged on Ashok Rajpath on Monday.

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Patna: Dozens of people were injured, including a college girl, when riot broke out between Patna University students protesting the result of the last Students Union election and the police on duty during the swearing-in of the new President, Vice President, and other cabinet posts at the Wheeler Senate Hall on Monday.

{gallery}newsimages2018/apr/040918{/gallery}Amid the chaos outside, President-elect Divyanshu Bhardwaj, Vice President-elect Yoshita Patwardhan, Treasurer-elect Nitish Patel, General Secretary-elect Sudhanshu Jha and a few Councilors were sworn in by the PU election officials.

A number of elected students, however, boycotted the swearing-in ceremony to protest the assault on students by the Patna police.

As reported, minutes before the swearing-in ceremony was slated to begin at the Wheeler Senate Hall on Monday morning, hundreds of students protested the outcome of the election saying the High Court was wrong in overturning the university's decision to cancel the election of Bhardwaj and Patwardhan. Both were accused of providing false information or failing to disclose certain facts to the electoral body of the university that led the Vice Chancellor to declare their victories null and void.

However, last week the Patna High Court reversed the VC's decision declaring their election valid thus making room for today's swearing-in ceremony.

Protestors on Ashok Rajpath blocked the busy road and pelted stones at the police who were then ordered to use force to disperse the mob. The rowdy crowd also damaged a city bus full with passengers.

Cops then rained batons on the protestors outside the Wheeler Senate Hall. Several students, including Bhagya Bharti, a Magadh Mahila College student representing the All India Students' Federation (AISF) who was elected for the post of Councilor, received injuries.

Reports said Bharti passed out after being hit by the police baton and had to be rushed to the Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH) for treatment.

In protest against today's lathi charge, Azad Chand, the Joint Secretary-elect, tore up the oath paper saying he could not, in good conscience, go through the ceremony when many of his colleagues were the victims of police brutality.


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