GANGTOK, August 5: The West Point school ground, popularly known as Guards Ground, today turned into a battlefield with the supporters of two football teams protesting their way into a bloody encounter that left several students battered and bruised.
The ‘wrestlemania’ took place today afternoon during the quarterfinal match between ‘TNites’, a team cobbled by the students of TNHSS and the football team of Sahastra Seema Bal (SSB), a paramilitary force deputed in Sikkim.
The match was the second quarterfinal game of the West Point Golden Jubilee football tournament which had commenced recently.
According to the students, the match was going well until the second half where a dispute crept over a decision by the referee. It is informed that the school team protested over the decision which then snowballed into an open confrontation between the supporters of both the teams.
Judging by the bruises, bloody noses and a possible hand fracture that the students suffered as the accompanying pictures show, it is to realize that which team emerged victorious from the scrape and which came second best.
At least seven students and one teacher of TNHSS sustained injurious in the beating from the hands of the SSB jawans. The students were treated at STNM hospital and discharged after first aid.
The injured students were Kasam Sherpa (Class XII) and MD Sadam (Class X), Sonam Tseten (Class X), Aditya Chettri (Class X), Tseten Lepcha (Class IX), Sonam Palden (Class X) and Paras Baraily (Class X).
The injury toll of the students is more as many students stamped all over by the SSB did not report to the hospital for treatment. Many of them simply ran away to their homes with their injuries, the injured students said.
Those savages did not even spare the school teacher, the terrified students said to media referring to their teacher DB Chettri who also took some beating. I had gone to field to control the situation but I was beaten up by the jawans who accused me of inciting the students, the injured teacher said.
The injured teacher and students told media that when the game disintegrated following a refereeing decision, the SSB jawans from the spectators’ galleries rushed to the field leading to the assault.
They came with bamboo sticks and rods and hammered us even as we were fleeing, accused the students. They also kicked us with their heavy boots, said the injured students to media.
Gangtok Sadar Police quickly intervened to control the situation before matters went out of hand and hauled both sides to the police station. The police were taking inputs from both sides till late in the evening to proceed ahead with the matter in the best possible manner keeping in the view that it was students and paramilitary jawans involved in the matter