Indian, Afghan Students clash at NIT, Rourkela

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Rourkela (By Aurobinda Das): At least five students, including three from Afghanistan, were injured in a clash between students at National Institute of Technology (NIT), Rourkela during the annual cultural burlesque on Saturday night near Hall-4 (Hostel-4), police said.

One Santanu Barik (25) who was severely injured hospitalized immediately in ICU of Ispat General Hospital (IGH) here and latter after improvement in condition he is shifted to ENT Ward. Two more students after first aid in CWS Hospital were discharged soon without keeping any records of the injuries.

Though the cause of the incident was not exactly established so far, sources said Afghan students, allegedly in an intoxicated state, had chucked highly obnoxious words at Indian students leading to a clash between two groups.

“The situation is normal now. The Afghanistan students are being provided security by the police as they are minority,” Director of NIT, Rourkela, Sunil Sarangi, who intervened and separated the groups, said. But some unsupported sources revealed that Police have shifted all the Afghanistan students to certain strange place.

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“We are inquiring into the whole incident as to why the clash took place. I cannot tell you much about it. When I reached the spot last evening and felt palpable tension, my first concern was to provide security to the Afghan students,” Sarangi said. Even the hostel warden and PRO NIT preferred to keep away themselves from the media on the issue.

There are 23 Afghan students at NIT, Rourkela against the strength of 4,500 Indians. Only 10 foreign students had picked up the fight, Sadangi said, adding all of them were taken to a room to ensure their safety.

All the five injured students, including one seriously injured Indian student, were given treatment at the Ispat General Hospital (IGH).

“We are alert over the incident after getting information from the NIT director. Local police is providing security to the foreign students,” said sub-divisional police officer (SDPO) S Sethi. But surprisingly an FIR so far is not lodged in the nearby Sector-3 Police Station.

Apprehending any eventuality the Police have camped in NIT premises. In total both the Police and NIT authority is dealing with the matter very cautiously as it is very sensitive and the present SP, Rourkela had very bad experience of battle of Afghanistan and Indian students in Ravenshaw University, Cuttack while he was DCP there.

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