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HindustanTimes Sun,21 Sep 2014

PU suspends errant girl from hostel

Jyotsna Jalali, Hindustan Times  Chandigarh, March 18, 2013
First Published: 23:23 IST(18/3/2013) | Last Updated: 23:28 IST(18/3/2013)

Vidisha Bhardwaj, the 21-year-old fourth year student of University Institute of Engineering and Technology (UIET) who had allegedly abused and slapped Panjab University (PU) security staff and the police in an inebriated state outside hostel number 8 on Saturday evening, was suspended from hostel until further notice by varsity authorities on Monday. She has been asked to vacate her hostel room by Tuesday evening.

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UIET also intends to take a similar action against her. However, a decision in this regard would be taken during the disciplinary committee meeting scheduled for Tuesday.

Vidisha's parents had also been summoned by PU authorities, but they did not turn up, stating personal engagements. Varsity authorities informed that Vidisha's parents declined to accept that their daughter was at fault, rather alleged that the police had abused and thrashed her.

Meanwhile, a committee headed by dean student welfare (DSW) Prof AS Ahluwalia met on Monday afternoon, where Vidisha was was questioned regarding the incident. Talking to Hindustan Times, Prof Ahluwalia said, "We questioned the girl and though she confessed to having been drunk, she denied having abused or slapped any of the police or PU security officials."

Vidisha, in her statement to the committee, has maintained that she had got drunk for the first time and had bought alcohol on her own. She did not name any of her friends to have been involved, and said that she had taken alcohol owing to some personal problems. "Vidisha also told us that she wanted to speak to a counsellor and that the varsity has none. We have told her that she could have spoken to her warden or to her teachers if she was facing some issues, even of a personal nature," added the DSW.

Teachers from the UIET department also questioned Vidisha and her friends. Department chairperson Prof Renu Vig said, "We will have a meeting to discuss the issue and decided upon the action to be taken; most probably she will be suspended from the department. We have spoken to the girl and feel that she needs counseling, which we shall be arranging for her." The department has also cautioned other students against any such behaviour.

The security staff of the university had spotted Vidisha behind the site of UIET's fest 'Goonj'. The incident has brought to fore the easy availability of alcohol on the university campus, and students -- boys and girls -- indulging in drunken behaviour. The university is now mulling over framing strict rules for holding fests.

In the pipeline
PU authorities said they would frame a rule that any student found drunk on the campus would be immediately suspended, and could also be expelled.

Eyewitness Account
Giving an eyewitness account, a PU security official, said Vidisha was out of control and abused him and others. They were forced to call in the police, but she abused and manhandled them also. He said Vidisha created a ruckus after she was asked to go inside the hostel. "She kept saying that she wanted to go back to the fest," recalled the security official.

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