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College elections turn Doon into mess, only one booked so far

The Dehradun police on August 16 filed an FIR against Sachin Naithani, one of the ABVP candidates from DAV College, for sticking pamphlets on the walls of the Karanpur police outpost. He was booked under the Uttaranchal Prevention of Defacement of Public Property Act, 2003, Dalanwala station house officer Yashpal Bisht said.

dehradun Updated: Aug 21, 2017 20:50 IST
Neha Pant
Neha Pant
Hindustan Times
Uttarakhand,college elections,ABVP candidate
Candidates contesting students' union elections have flooded Dehradun with their campaigning materials.(Vinay Santosh Kumar/HT PHOTO)

DEHRADUN: With the advent of the students’ union elections at colleges, the state capital has turned into a colourful mess with campaign paraphernalia plastered all over the walls. Posters, banners, pamphlets and stickers bearing names and photographs of candidates have blatantly defaced public spaces.

The students’ union elections was held on August 19 at MKP College, while polls are due in SGRR, DBS and DAV colleges on August 23, 26 and 31. Only one student candidate has been booked for the transgression so far.

The Dehradun police on August 16 filed an FIR against Sachin Naithani, one of the ABVP candidates from DAV College, for sticking pamphlets on the walls of the Karanpur police outpost. He was booked under the Uttaranchal Prevention of Defacement of Public Property Act, 2003, Dalanwala station house officer Yashpal Bisht said.

DAV and DBS colleges fall under the limits of the Dalanwala police station.

“We have appealed to various government departments (whose buildings have been defaced) to register complaints against student leaders,” Bisht said. The Act prescribes a fine of Rs 10,000 or imprisonment for a period of up to one year, or both, if a person is found guilty of committing an act of defacement.

The use of printed campaign material is prohibited by the Lyngdoh Committee, which set the rules of the students’ union elections in colleges and universities. It allows only the use of handmade posters as poll material. The Committee also prohibits canvassing or distribution of campaign material in any form outside the college campuses.

But the college authorities washed their hands off the matter. “We’ve directed students to not stick posters outside the college as it doesn’t send out a good message. Any act of defacement outside of the college campus, however, doesn’t fall under our purview and hence we can’t take any action,” DAV college principal Devendra Kumar Bhasin said.

Dehradun district magistrate SA Murugesan said he would direct officials including those of the Dehradun Municipal Corporation to get the posters removed from public properties. “I will also ask the government departments or agencies concerned to take necessary action against students who have defaced public properties...,” he added.

First Published: Aug 21, 2017 20:50 IST