The Director Physical Education (DPE) of Shri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC) alleged a group of students led by Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) president Satender Awana beat him up with rods on the college premises Monday. Awana denied the charges.

Police was called in to control the situation after the incident was reported at about 4 pm. The DPE, Vineet Mehta, went to Hindu Rao Hospital for a medico legal certificate and registered an FIR at the Maurice Nagar police station.

Mehta said he was attacked following an argument with Awana over the use of the college swimming pool.

“He had come to the sports complex with three to four persons, and was asking that those students be allowed to use the swimming pool for free. We usually charge a nominal fee from college students and about Rs 600 for three months from other students. I told him I was not authorised to allow this,” said Mehta.

“He then demanded to speak to the sports convenor, and asked me for her phone number. I refused to give it, saying that I wasn’t authorised to do so. Awana and others then started abusing me, and ultimately got violent. They manhandled me and even hit me with the weightlifting rod kept in the sports complex,” Mehta added.

SRCC acting principal R P Rustagi said he was immediately informed that Mehta had made a PCR call, following which police entered the college.

“I was busy with some office work when I came to know what had happened. Once the police came in, we sat in my office and the person concerned recorded his statement. Since he has decided to approach the police, this is now a matter of police inquiry,” he said.

While he did not meet Awana after the incident, Rustagi said the DUSU president had come to his office earlier. “He was enquiring about the college swimming pool, so I told him to go to the physical education department and talk to them. Soon after, I got to know that this has happened,” he said.

Awana, however, said there was an argument, but maintained there was no violence.

“The students with me belong to deprived backgrounds. I had simply requested that they be allowed to pay the fee that SRCC students pay, which even the principal had agreed to. It is for this reason that I asked him (Mehta) to give me the convenor’s number,” said Awana.

“But he refused and started abusing us. In fact, I think he may have been slightly drunk. When he was abusing me, the other students got agitated and held his collar. But nobody hit him. If somebody did pick up the rod, you’ll see in the CCTV footage that I stopped him. Moreover, no one who’s been hit by rods will get only minor injuries,” he added.

The National Students’ Union of India has planned a protest on the issue Tuesday.