A day after violence on the campus, Panjab University announced a series of measures to contain any kind of violence in the run up to the student elections.
In a meeting with representatives of various students’ organisations at vice-chancellor (V-C) Arun Kumar Grover office, the parties were told that they would not be allotted tents during the elections. They were also categorically told that the ‘open house’ would not be held keeping in view the prevailing conditions on the campus.
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The open house, which ended in 2010, was a unique feature of PU elections in which student leaders used to debate on various issues. It was discontinued following violence.
Earlier in the day, Grover told HT that the university had recommended elections and there was no re-thinking on it as of now.
“We have recommended the elections. It is now up to the UT administration to take a call on it. It may have some flaws, but it is a democratic exercise and elections should be held,” the V-C said.
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He also denied that top officials of the university were divided on the issue of conducting elections and said all have been consulted and taken onboard.
Meanwhile, Grover asked the student leaders to ensure that no violence should take place as that affects the PU’s image and job prospects of the students. He asked the student leaders to strictly follow the Lyngdoh and PU guidelines issued from time to time and suggested them to use the PU radio for the election campaign as it would not affect the normal academic activities of the campus.
SLEW OF MEASURES
PU dean, student welfare, (DSW) Navdeep Goyal told student leaders that tents would not be allocated to students’ organisations this year as PU does not recognise parties and would only be allocated to candidates after the time of final withdrawal.
For years, PU has been allocating tents before elections to parties to carry out campaign on the campus. But officials say the practice was being done away with due to brawls which are reported at these tents and also because the number of parties had nearly gone up to 18 this year. Goyal also told party leaders that any candidate forcibly disturbing any running class would stand disqualified from the elections.
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Sources said student parties would be allowed to campaign in classes for 10 minutes. They would be allowed to enter soon after a class starts and would be allowed to remain there for next 10 minutes, or 10 minutes before any class ends. The details of timings would be worked out later on.
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FLYING SQUAD TO CHECK OUTSIDERS
The university is learnt to have formed a flying squad to deal with the problem of outsiders’ entry on the campus. The squad would have two members from faculty, two security officials and two police personnel. Officials said all vehicle bearing party stickers would be targeted and occupants would be asked to produce the I-cards.
TWO BOOKED FOR BRAWL
The police have arrested two PUSU leaders Sehajpal and Satwinder Singh Nawal following the incident of violence on Thursday afternoon. They were later released on bail. They, along with others, including a city-based model, were named in the FIR. They were also booked for making obscene acts toward a NSUI female candidate.
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‘ABVP NOT INVITED TO MEETING’
The Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) held a protest outside the V-C office alleging that they were not invited to the meeting. Leaders of various parties who had been found indulging in incidents of violence in the recent past did not participate in the meeting. The parties include Student Organisation of India, National Students Union of India (NSUI), Gandhi Group Students Union (GGSU) and Panjab University Student Union (PUSU).
NOMINATION TO START ON AUG 28
Sources said leaders had been hinted at the meeting that nomination process would start on August 28 and on August 29 would be the final date of withdrawal of candidature. Following which tents would be allotted. The students would get five days time for campaigning and elections would be held on September 5.