Panjab University chief security officer, Jatinder Grover, three security guards and at least four students were injured as two groups resorted to throwing chairs at each other on Tuesday afternoon on campus over a trivial issue of a student switching political group.
The groups, the Student Organization of India (SOI) and the Panjab University Student Union (PUSU), had set up help desks for admission under tents when the trouble began at around 3 pm.
Members of the two organisations entered into a verbal spat over the reported thrashing of Khushdeep, PUSU senior vice president, by SOI members at the administrative block. Khushdeep had till yesterday been a member of the SOI.
The CSO was also hit with a chair, reportedly thrown from the PUSU camp. PUSU campus president Sahejpal Singh was also injured.
A case has been registered at the Sector 11 police station against seven accused by name and unidentified others under Sections 147 (rioting), 149 (every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object), 332 (injuring a public servant on duty), 353 (obstructing a public servant from duty by means of assault) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC. No arrests have been made.
Sources said that those named in the varsity complaint ar Simran Dhillon, Meet Jatana and Rashpal Haquwala from SOI and Bunty Dhillon, Khushdeep and Sukhdeep Singh from PUSU.
As a result of the ruckus, the university administration has now asked student political parties to close help desks.
“It is unfortunate. Student political parties had assured us that they would not resort to violence. Administrative action will be taken against university students and the police will deal with outsiders,” Navdeep Goyal, dean student welfare, told HT.
Students have castigated the administration and student political parties for violence and the decision to close help desks. “Those who indulged in violence should have been asked to close the help desks. A blanket ban is unfair,” Student organization of Panjab University (SOPU) president, Amninder Singh said.
“A lot of students and parents are getting guidance here. It is an irresponsible step,” NSUI campus president, Hardeep Singh, said.
“Lumpen elements need to be isolated. The action of the authorities curtailing the rights of the students is not acceptable,” said Arishdeep Singh, president, Student for Society.
Students also alleged that a lot of outsiders were camping at tents of various political parties. “New students cannot muster the courage to indulge in violence. A lot of so-called leaders keep roaming around campus for years. They were the main culprits,” a student leader said.