Panjab University Vice Chancellor Dr Arun Gover on Tuesday held a meeting with leaders of various student organizations. His tough-talking on the occasion - asking student leaders not only to ensure peaceful student council election but also to follow traffic rules on the campus -did not go down well with the youth leaders and their supporters.
In the presence of SP (city) Des Raj, the VC asked students to wear helmets while driving two-wheelers on the campus and seat belts while driving four-wheelers. He said that these traffic rules would be enforced strictly once Panjab University Campus Students Council elections were over and the erring students would be taken to task.
However, student leaders protested against most points raised by the authorities in the meeting, including a strong objection to strict implementation of traffic rules on the campus and called it "absurd".
Talking to Hindustan Times, Students Organisation of Panjab University campus president Manoj Lubana said, "These are weird decisions of the VC and we will never let authorities impose such irrational decisions on the campus. How can they expect students to wear helmets while driving on campus? This is one of the most absurd ideas which could have ever been thought of by senior varsity officials like him."
Other points raised by the VC and SP were contradicted by student leaders, who maintained that campus was one place where students should be allowed to roam around freely.
The VC also told the youth leaders that cost of stickers pasted on their vehicles would also be added to Rs 5,000 poll expense allowed to each candidate as per the Lyngdoh committee. It also drew protests from the student leaders and their supporters.
Reacting to the meeting, ABVP supporters dubbed the discussions "off-the-point". Party members maintained that violence-free campus should be a priority of varsity officials and not imposition of "unrealistic" decisions on students.
ABVP supporter Dinesh Chauhan, who too was part of the student delegation at the meeting, said, "Varsity officials need to focus on issues like presence of outsiders and those indulging in violence, rather than irrational issues like wearing seat belts and helmets." PUSU supporters too expressed resentment over the points raised by VC Grover and DSP Des Raj.