Non-Students Shown The Door; Eviction Process In Utkal Varsity Hostels To Continue

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Bhubaneswar: A day after a joint team of police and Utkal University officials evicted more than 60 non-students from Hostel No-7, Registrar Dayanidhi Nayak on Monday asked the hostel superintendents to furnish a detailed list of such occupants.

The university authorities began the eviction process after the Commissionerate Police vacated and sealed the hostel on Sunday afternoon.

In a letter to the police commissioner Satyajit Mohanty on Monday, vice-chancellor of the University Prof Soumendra Mohan Patnaik sought the help of the police to evict the non-students from the remaining gents hostels on the university campus.

In his reply, the police commissioner advised the vice-chancellor to serve a notice on the non-students. “If they ignore the notice, police will provide all assistance to the university authorities in vacating the hostels to restore tranquility and ensure a congenial study environment on the campus,” he added.

Following which, the hostel superintendents were asked to furnish a detailed list of non-students staying in these hostels within two days. “We expect them to submit the list by Wednesday. On the basis of the report, we will take appropriate action,” the registrar pointed out.

The process to evict non-students from the University hostel began after the arrest of a local BJD leader, Prakash Tripathy, and six of his supporters for allegedly ransacking Saheed Nagar police station and assaulting four policemen inside the police station late on March 3. During the interrogation of the accused, police came to know that three of them were staying in the university hostel.

Sources in the campus said that the Hostel No-7 was the den of Prakash Tripathy and his men. Under his leadership, political meetings were held inside the hostel.

Besides, his supporters, who were residing in this hostel, used to attend the party meetings in VSS Nagar, Mancheswar and the university periphery. Besides, some auto-drivers and contractors were also staying in this hostel.

Talking to Odisha Bytes, a senior university official,  on condition of anonymity, said that the Hostel No-7, inaugurated by the Chief Minister two-and-half-years ago, was constructed to accommodate overseas research scholars and professors. However, it was subsequently occupied by the non-students due to the alleged nexus between a group of officials and some student union leaders, the official added.

The Operation
The demand for the ouster on-students from this hostel gained momentum after the police arrested three such occupants on March 5. Following the incident, a group of students had met the vice-chancellor in this connection. Later, some university officials and some police officers went to the hostel to evict the non-students, but in vain.

After failing in their effort, the university authorities wrote to DCP Anup Sahu. Acting on the letter, the DCP called A Meeting Of the ACPs of the three zones on Sunday morning. Police later conducted a surprise raid on the hostel at around 3 pm.

During the three-hour operation, more than 60 non-students were evicted from the hostel in presence of the University Registrar, chairperson of the University PG Council, hostel superintendents and wardens, director of Students’ Welfare (DSW), director of College Development Council (CDC), IICs of Saheed Nagar, Mancheswar and Nayapalli police stations and five platoons of armed police.

It was further alleged that some non-students were illegally collecting Rs 25,000-Rs 30,000 as rent per annum from inmates they had allowed to stay in this hostel.

The Seizure
During the raid, police seized 237 empty liquor bottles stacked in the corner of a toilet, more than 200 bottles of liquor inside wardrobes in the rooms, 120 empty cigarette packets from the dining hall and 15 packets of cigarettes. Apart from this, five packets of condoms, a hookah, and a packet of charas were also found inside the boundary wall of the hostel.

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