The student is the deputy head of Politeia, the student association of politics and social sciences students at Ghent University. He had spent a night out in the student bars on the Overpoortstraat on Friday evening leaving a bar at 4:30AM but never turned up at home. It was only thirteen hours later that a passer-by discovered the unfortunate student with a major injury to the head on the street. The student was rushed to hospital and is still fighting for his life.
UPDATE: Fortunately, the student's condition is now stable.
East Flemish prosecutors are investigating the incident. His student association Politeia has appealed for witnesses via social media.
It was particularly rowdy in the Overpoortstraat last weekend. Police had to intervene when around a hundred youngsters ran amok throwing bottles. Several officers were seriously injured.
Bar owners speak of the worst riots in years and are seeking urgent action. Talks with the city authorities and the police on extra security measures are planned today. Several bar owners have called for checks on access to the street. One bar owner told VRT “these are not the regular students, who enjoy the nightlife during the working week. It’s people who come here specially to cause trouble.”
Mayor of Ghent Mathias De Clercq has condemned the violence and announced extra measures. He says those that were involved in the trouble on Friday were not regular students. Police presence in the area will be stepped up and more patrols will be carried out. Those involved in the trouble will be banned from the area.
In order to step up security no concerts will be staged in bars in the area in coming weeks. There are also plans to redevelop the street and make it safer and more viable.