Four youths and one policeman were injured in a clash outside Dr Harvansh Singh Judge Institute of Dental Sciences and Hospital, Panjab University (PU), which got escalated after the police tried to forcefully remove dental sciences students and workers of three student groups.
The incident was reported around 2pm on Tuesday when the dental sciences students were protesting outside the college with the support of party workers of the National Students Union of India (NSUI), Student Organisation of India (SOI) and Panjab University Student Union (PUSU). The police tried to forcefully clear the gates where they were sitting which resulted in clashes between students and cops.
The police also used mild canecharge to disperse the crowd from the spot. Many girl students, who were part of the agitation, alleged that they suffered injuries as they tried to shield those being beaten up by the police.
Later, the police rounded up eight youths from the spot — NSUI president Sanjeev Sharma, another leader Manoj Lubana and six others. However, it was found that none of them were students of the university.
The students were protesting outside the college since 9am, demanding various facilities at the college and more time to complete the assignments. Later, they shifted the protest venue to outside the vice-chancellor’s office and sat there on a dharna, but again shifted back to the college. Dean, student welfare, Navdeep Goyal said the police had been called as there were many outsiders among the students. “They misbehaved with the police and tried to barge into the college. It was then that the police pushed them back. The police have not used ‘lathis’ on students,” Goyal added.
The incident has also exposed PU’s preparedness for the polls. Most of those rounded up were later found to be outsiders and were leading protests almost every day on the campus.
However, PU’s chief security officer Jatinder Grover said it was very difficult to find out who was an outsider. “They are often surrounded by one or two PU students. It is not possible to check the whereabouts of each and everyone who is participating in a protest,” he added.
Clash forces PU to postpone meeting
Following the violence at the dental sciences college, PU postponed the meeting between representatives of various student groups and the university administration.
The meeting had been called by DSW Navdeep Goyal to discus poll related issues. Sources said PU was to discuss the proposal prepared by the university to implement no-vehicle zones on the campus, besides issues related to the law and order situation and various guidelines prepared by the administration.
The next date of meeting has not been fixed. Officials were awaiting permission on Tuesday, but till late in the evening, they could not get the UT’s nod. The officials are hopeful that they would get the permission on Wednesday.
DSP central Ashish Kapoor denied that police resorted to cane charge. “Some outsiders were rounded up by police at the protest venue and were taken to the police station and later released. No case has been registered,” Kapoor added.