‘The Kerala Story’: 5 students injured in group clash at GMC Jammu

JAMMU — Five students of Government Medical College in Jammu were injured, one of them seriously, in a clash between two groups inside their hostel on Sunday night.

Sources said trouble began some students uploaded scenes from the controversial Hindi movie, “The Kerala Story”, on a WhatsApp “study group” late Sunday evening with comments saying it was “worth watching”. Others in the group reacted to it saying that they do not agree.

Some of those disagreeing with the plot of film said that they also suggested that the students WhatsApp group was meant for sharing of only study material and such controversial things should not be circulated in it.

The WhatsApp chat soon snowaballed into a clash between two groups of hostels involving students from first year to final year batch. However, both sides accused each other of initiating the clash which, according to police, was also joined by some outsiders.

Eyewitnesses said that the trouble continued throughout night with the involvement of even outsiders.This was not the first time that a clash took place between students staying in the hostel, they said, recalling that two groups had clashed a few months ago.

One of the injured students claimed that atmosphere in the college has become “highly polarised” over the past few years, with students having formed groups on religious and regional lines.

GMC Principal Dr Shahi Sudhan Sharma, who reached the hostel and stayed there overnight in view of the prevailing tension, denied the polarised atmosphere on campus. She said that for the first time the college has on its rolls nearly 150 students from all over the country for PG and under graduate courses and all of them live in harmony.

Of the five students rushed to the hospital, four of them were discharged in the morning, she said. The fifth one, hailing from Jammu division’s Bhaderwah area, was still in the hospital with over a dozen stitches to his head, Sharma said. His condition is stable and he too will be discharged soon, she added.

Meanwhile, students who disagreed with the contents of The Kerala Story held demonstration inside the GMC premises. Holding placards saying “we come to the college to study and not fight”, they demanded action against the other group.

The GMC administration has lodged a complaint with the police to look into the involvement of outsiders, the principal said, adding the college will also take disciplinary action against delinquent students.

The Jammu SSP Chandan Kohli said that the police have taken cognisance of the “scuffle between some students and outsiders” in the GMC Hostel here. The investigations are in progress, he added. — (Agencies)