THERE SEEMS to be a change of heart on part of the state government and the district administration following a PIL on the issue of purging the Lucknow University (LU) hostels of criminal elements.
A meeting was held between representatives of the LU authorities and the district administration on Thursday evening in which commissioner RK Mittal and other officials made a commitment to help the LU administration in restoring normalcy on the campus.
Government officials were of the view that because of a handful of rowdy elements, interests of majority of the students should not suffer. They also said now that the university had prepared a list and identified 83 erring student leaders and their followers, it would not be that difficult to get them removed from the hostels.
The LU officials described the meeting as “quite positive” and said now they see “some real intent” on part of the officials to get the hostels purged. “We were asked to resume teaching on the campus,” said an LU official. At this, the LU reprentatives told the government officials that they too were keen on resuming teaching but not before the hostels were purged, at least of the identified hostellers with criminal antecedents. The LU officials stated that the commissioner and others present completely agreed with the varsity viewpoint.
These officials also appreciated the stand taken by the varsity administration and promised to help it in restoring normalcy.
The LU officials stated it was important that criminal elements be chucked out from the campus as they had tarnished the varsity’s image to a large extent.
Talking to HT, the commissioner said: “We’ve appealed to the university administration not to remove common students from the campus and only focus on those who are putting up illegally.” Mittal said the LU was expected to come out with an answer on this and once they agree the exercise of purging varsity hostels would begin.
Both the LU and the district administration are expected to prepare a roadmap on purging of hostels. Besides the commissioner, those who attended the meeting included the higher education secretary, the IG, the SSP and other officials of the district administration. The last time when the university hostels were purged was in 2001, just some months before the 89th Indian Science Congress held at the LU.