Pune: Amidst drama at Fergusson College over the purported raising of anti-national slogans, an NCP MLA was allegedly manhandled today on its campus as a clash broke out between workers of his party and ABVP supporters.
A day after heated exchanges there between ABVP activists and students affiliated to Left organisations, NCP legislator Jitendra Awhad was allegedly manhandled on the Fergusson campus during a clash which led to the deployment of a riot squad and saw the police stepping in to control the situation.
The MLA wanted to meet Fergusson College principal R Pardeshi to discuss yesterday's incident and reached the campus at around 4.30 PM. But, unable to meet Pardeshi, he began a speech to NCP workers and supporters on the campus.
While he was speaking, members of ABVP and BJP's youth wing, Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha, started raising slogans against Awhad and allegedly heckled him.
Awhad's supporters and the rival groups soon came to blows and the NCP leader was allegedly manhandled during the melee.
Police had to intervene and escorted Awhad to his car. But even after the NCP leader had got inside the vehicle, footwear and stones were hurled at his car.
Police resorted to mild lathicharge to disperse the crowd before Awhad and his supporters left the campus. After the clash, a riot control squad was deployed.
"Police had to use mild force to disperse the groups as Awhad was manhandled. Although a police officer took out his service revolver, no rounds were fired and Awhad was escorted out safely," said a senior police officer.
"We are yet to detain anybody in this connection. We will study CCTV footage to check what exactly happened," he said.
Meanwhile, with the issue sparking a row, the principal was summoned by state Education Minister Vinod Tawde.
Pardeshi had yesterday dashed off a letter to police seeking action against those who had "raised anti-national slogans" on the campus during a verbal clash between two students' groups. However, he today retracted his statement, saying he had sought a probe to ascertain if such slogans were raised.
Although in his letter yesterday, Pardeshi had asked police to take "stern action" against individuals who raised anti-national slogans, in a turnaround today, he told PTI the letter had a "typographical error" and he had only meant to request police to find out whether or not anti-national slogans were raised on the campus.