Chennai: Students of Pachaiyappa’s college in Chennai who were caught brandishing weapons and attacking seven others, undertook an oath to behave well.

“We promise not to engage in undesirable activities. We promise to make our parents proud. If we break these promises, we will surrender ourselves to legal action,” they all said in unison at the police station in Chennai.

The group made the promise after being caught by Chennai Police for attacking another group from the same college over the matter of the route that the bus was supposed to follow.

A ‘route thala’ is a common name that is self-administered. The leader is allegedly granted special privileges but also leads to frequent clashes between different student groups commuting on the same route.

Such incidents have taken place in the past as well between the students of Pachaiyappa College, Presidency College and New College in Chennai.

The students involved in such clashes often sport dangerous weapons such as billhooks, machetes and knives and are known for harassing passengers in the bus.

Friday’s oath-taking initiative came after R Sudhakar, the joint commissioner of Police, identified around 90 such ‘route thalas’ and held a meeting with the principals of the three colleges in the city.

In the meeting, it was decided that students who indulge in violence and create a public nuisance in the name of ‘route thalas’ or otherwise will have to compulsorily undergo community service.

They would be made to do services such as regulating road traffic on busy stretches. Police stations will also open a crime sheet on regular offenders and that they would need to execute a surety bond stating that they will desist from such activities in future. Those who violate this bond will be detained under the Goondas Act.