Even as a two-member panel has been constituted by the union ministry of human resource development (MHRD) to probe into the rampage at Sant Longowal Institute of Engineering and Technology (SLIET), a deemed university, on May 6, the SLIET authorities are all set to take a stern action against the students allegedly involved in the violence.
Over 150 students of all classes, including certificate, diploma, degree and post graduation courses, have been served a show-cause notice to explain their alleged criminal conspiracy against the institute on the day of the rampage.
The notice signed by registrar AS Dhaliwal was personally sent at the postal addresses of the students and they were directed to explain their conduct by June 20.
The panel comprising retired high court judge justice SN Aggarwal and former IAS officer RP Aggarwal is already holding their third sitting on the SLIET campus to look into the matter before compiling a detailed inquiry report.
In the notice to students, most of whom are from final year, the SLIET registrar said, "It has been noticed and found that you (student) had actively indulged in a criminal conspiracy on May 6 in SLIET by taking part in the rioting, criminal attempt to murder the SLIET teachers, staff members by pelting stones, torching the building, laboratory equipment, classrooms, cars, administrative office records and computers."
The authorities also took notice of damage to director Sunil Pandey's residence on the campus and asked the students to explain their action for "breaking into the house of the director with an intention to eliminate his family and his office record by setting the bungalow on fire, damaged his personal and government property".
The notice came at the time when students are preparing for their semester examination, tentatively to be held in the last week of June.
On May 6, demanding resignation of director Sunil Pandey, the students went berserk and created ruckus that led to estimated damage of R12 crore, as per the SLIET authorities.
"The unlawful assembly, rampage and damage and torching of government property in SLIET is a criminal act and against the interest of SLIET and attracts severe penalty," stated the notice.
Senior officials in the SLIET management told HT that notices have been sent to students on the basis of photographs and videos taken on the day of violence, clearly depicting their involvement.
However, officials refused to divulge more details.
"The students have been directed to explain as to why disciplinary action should not be taken against them," an official said, adding that, failure to respond to the notice shall be taken as the acceptance of students to the facts stated above and their involvement in the incident.
The police had already registered case under Sections 307 (attempt to murder), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 148 (whoever is guilty of rioting), 149 (common intention) and 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of public function) against unidentified students.