There was pandemonium yesterday morning as a planned peaceful demonstration by students of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi in the Ashanti Region turned violent.
The students who said they were protesting the harsh brutalities some of their colleagues suffered in the hands of the school’s security last week Friday vandalised several properties belonging to the school.
The university administrative block and some hall masters and mistresses’ blocks were not spared in the destruction.
The university security post and residence of security personnel of the institution including their wives and relatives suffered same fate, as they had to flee for their dear lives.
In fact, according to our Ashanti Regional Bureau Chief, James Appiakorang Jnr., angry students resorted to vandalising school properties and literally anything they laid their hands on, as some cars parked on campus including that of the university’s Dean of Student’s were burnt by the demonstrators.
Earlier, the police in the region were deployed to the university to protect lives and properties but they were seen as clueless as they failed to quell the situation.
It took the intervention of the military to restore calm as the vice chancellor, together with some administrative staff of the university had to be whisked away from the campus to avoid being lynched by the rampaging students.
Yesterday’s demonstration was a result of a planned students’ customary procession last week Friday that was thwarted by the campus-based security, but not without casualties.
Pictures emerged on social media over the weekend of brutalised students. According to the students, the macho security men descended on them and beat them up, many of whom were hospitalised, 10 students and one alumni of the school were arrested.
That development, according to the executives of the Students Representatives Council, is what precipitated the demonstration.
According to reports, those students were arrested for holding vigil on campus last Friday without permission.
One other students who was allegedly manhandled by the internal security was currently on admission at the KNUST hospital.
The KNUST management, however, justified the arrests.
The University’s Public Relations Officer, Kwame Yeboah, told journalists that the affected students did not seek permission before undertaking the vigil, contrary to the rules of the university.
“The university thinks certain activities in the night should not be entertained. Some other activities are permitted because the students applied for permission. But there was no permission for last Friday’s activity. The students decided to go their own way. They decided not to obey any rules or regulations on campus, and the law doesn’t permit that. So when it happened, the police were brought in,” he said.
Story: From James APPIAKORANG JNR., KUMASI, ASHANTI REGION