Students of the Government Arts College in Hassan staged a protest on Thursday against the principal and staff of the college alleging that they had assaulted two students on the campus.
The protesters, who had assembled under the banner of Hassan city unit of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, received support from Preetham Gowda, BJP MLA.
The students alleged that principal C. Rajappa and two senior faculty members thrashed two students on Wednesday. A video clip of the incident has been shared widely on social media and online messaging platforms in Hassan.
Accusing the faculty members of unruly conduct on campus in the name of disciplining students, the protesters demanded their suspension.
Mr. Gowda told the protesters he would speak to senior officers of the Department of Collegiate Education on the matter. “The incident should not have happened. The way it was handled was highly objectionable,” he added.
When The Hindu contacted Mr. Rajappa, he said the college had declared a holiday on Wednesday for Holi.
“I was told that some students had turned up on campus to celebrate Holi. When I went to the vehicle parking area with my colleagues, I noticed a few boys there, and they ran when they saw us. We caught them and punished them to ensure discipline. I don’t deny it. A student from a neighbouring college was also there and he tried to assault us,” he said. He alleged that the students had apologised for their actions, but later filed a police complaint. He added that a few girl students had also given in writing, a complaint about the conduct of these boys on the campus that day.
The police have registered a non-cognisable report.