‘The ‘Kerala Story’: Row Over Film Leads To Scuffle At GMC Jammu, 5 Hurt

Students of Government Medical College stage a protest after fellow students were assaulted at their hostel following a scuffle over ‘The Kerala Story’ movie, in Jammu – PTI photo

Jammu- Five medical students suffered injuries after a scuffle ensued between two groups over ‘The Kerala Story’ movie at a hostel here, police said on Monday.

The principal of the Government Medical College has termed the incident as “unfortunate” and assured students that appropriate action will be taken against those responsible to maintain peace in the institute.

Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Jammu Chandan Kohli said an investigation into the matter is underway.

“There has been an incident of scuffle between some students and outsiders in GMC hostel Jammu. Cognisance of the matter has been taken and investigation is going on,” the SSP said.

The protesting students said the scuffle took place late Sunday night when a student shared a link of the controversial film in the official group of first-year students, which was objected by one of his batchmates, stating that the group is meant for academic purposes only.

The student, who had objected to the sharing of the link, was later confronted and assaulted inside the hostel, leading to a scuffle as more and more students along with some outsiders joined the ruckus.

Students alleged that members of a right-wing group were brought into the hostel from outside, who shouted religious slogans and attacked one of the students with a sharp-edged object, injuring him in the head besides roughing up several others.

The outsiders fled before police arrived at the scene. Students staged a sit-in on the main road after the incident.

A group of students even boycotted their classes and assembled outside GMC hospital this morning to press for an inquiry and demand appropriate action against the culprits.

“It was a deliberate attempt to disturb the peaceful atmosphere. The Kerala story movie is not some holy sculptures People have different opinions with regard to the controversial film and everyone is free whether to watch or not to watch the movie,” a student said.

He demanded that culprits be identified and appropriate actions be taken against them as a deterrent to ensure a peaceful atmosphere on the campus. “The CCTV footage is available to nail the culprits.”

Principal GMC Shashi Sudhan Sharma visited the protesting students and assured them that action will be taken as per the law of the land.

“There was a scuffle in the boys hostel and five students suffered minor injuries. Four of them were discharged immediately, while one of them who had received stitches in the head, is being discharged within two hours,” Sharma, who visited the emergency ward to enquire about the injured student’s health, told reporters.

“A WhatsApp message worked as instigation but the situation is well under control (now). The interference of some medicos who have left the institute and some others was recorded,” she said, adding an FIR has already been lodged and the disciplinary committee is doing its job.

Sharma said they want to send a strong message that there is zero tolerance for such types of unfortunate activities in the premier institute where the students have come for professional courses and not to indulge in such types of things.

She said security has been stepped up and discipline will be ensured. “This institution has a lot of responsibility towards patient care and there is no scope for activities that promote regionalism or discrimination based on religion, caste, creed and colour.”

Reacting to a post shared by a social media user showing one of the injured students undergoing treatment, the Peoples Democratic Party president attacked the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for allegedly dividing people on communal lines.

“Shocking that GOI (Government of India) promotes & encourages violence through movies stoking communal fires. The blood of innocents is being spilled to quench BJPs insatiable thirst for petty electoral dividends. Request @OfficeOfLGJandK ji to take cognisance & punish the culprits,” Mufti wrote on Twitter.

10 Students Rusticated From Hostel For 2 Months

Authorities on Monday rusticated 10 students from Government Medical College (GMC) hostel here for two months and also debarred them from attending classes till the completion of an inquiry following a scuffle over ‘The Kerala Story’ movie.

GMC Principal Shashi Sudhan Sharma also requested the Senior Superintendent of Police, Jammu, to take all precautionary measures, including deployment of additional police personnel around the hostel and college premises, to avoid any law and order problem.

Five medical students suffered injuries after a scuffle broke out between two groups over the controversial film at the boys hostel of the GMC here Sunday night, triggering protests and demands for an inquiry to punish the culprits.

“As per the report of the wardens of the boys hostel, 10 students (involved in the scuffle) have been rusticated from the hostel for two months and also debarred from attending the classes till the completion of the inquiry by the disciplinary committee of the institute,” Sharma said in a statement.

She said the report of the hostel warden has been forwarded to the disciplinary committee of the institution for inquiry, which has to be completed within seven days.

Briefing about the steps taken to maintain peaceful atmosphere inside the campus, the GMC principal said she along with hostel wardens and faculty members spent whole night at the hostel and assured the students about strict action against the offenders.

“As desired by students, the letter for the lodgement of FIR against an ex-student of GMC Jammu who participated in the scuffle was forwarded to Station House Officer, Bakshi Nagar, Jammu. As conveyed by the SHO, the FIR has been lodged,” she said.

Sharma said only one student who received injuries during the scuffle is presently admitted to GMC Jammu for treatment and observation.

“He is a resident of Bhaderwah (in Doda district) and is recovering well. As per doctors, he shall be discharged probably within next 24 hrs,” she said.

Sharma said she along with the Heads of Departments and the wardens again met the students in the morning in the college premises and assured them action under rules against everyone involved in creating such a situation.

Additional eight security personnel and one security supervisor have been deployed in the hostel for maintaining round-the-clock security, she said.

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