CALCUTTA–The Armenian Philanthropic College in Calcutta is under emergency lock-down by the school’s administration, according to students who eluded strict restrictions to report the situation, Hetq Investigative Journalism reported.
The state of emergency was instated by College Director Father Khoren Hovhannisyan, who was appointed by the Holy See of Etchmiadzin to administer the school.
The situation arose after two students, Andranik Gevorgyan and Hayk Poghosyan, were unable to correctly recite poetry they had been assigned to memorize. As punishment, Father Hovhannisyan, stripped the students of their rights for one month.
According to Hetq, an attempt by senior students to meet with Father Hovhannisyan to calm the situation, led to the principle accusing Gevorgyan, a student at the school for eight years, of conspiring against him.
Hovhannisyan is said to have given the student twenty minutes to pack his bags and leave for Armenia. Gevorgyan, however, refused to comply leading the principle to call the police, who quickly arrived on the scene.
Citing reports from the school, Hetq said the students then proceeded to barricade the entrance to the school to prevent the police from removing Gevorgyan.
The students had closed off the entrance to the school, not allowing them to remove Andranik. We should remind readers that Etchmiadzin is responsible for the students’ status while in India.
According to students, the college, officially managed by the Holy Sea of Echmiadzin, has experienced tumultuous times since the appointment of Father Hovhannisyan, who has enforced a rigid disciplinary regime on campus. Over the course of his tenure, Hovhannisyan has earned the reputation of being an unyielding and unacceptable administrator. Earlier this year, he used vulgar language to insult a young female student who was unable to read from the Divine Liturgy.
Hetq last reported that two additional police cars had arrived on the scene and all forms of communication had been taken from the students. The students were, however, able to reach the school’s administrative and former director Sonya Jon, as well as local newspapers. The besieged students were also able to inform their parents in Armenia.
Etchmiadzin has said it will comment on the matter on Friday.