Firing at Panjab University: Campus divided on political lines
Leaders of Panjab University Students Union (PUSU) have claimed that the police had booked four of their members and an outsider without any inquiry - under pressure from leaders from the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) - even as they were not even being allowed to even file a complaint. The state president of the Student Organisation of India (SOI) - the student wing of the SAD - was fired upon, allegedly by PUSU members outside the law auditorium on Friday.
In protest against the bookings and later arrest of two of the accused, members of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), a student body affiliated to the RSS-BJP; the Society for Students (SFS); the National Students Union of India (NSUI), the student wing of the Congress, came together to support PUSU demanding an ‘impartial inquiry’ into the violent clash on Friday evening at the Student Centre.
A protest was also held with students alleging that most SOI members carried arms and weapons on campus due to the political backing allegedly provided by the SAD.
NSUI leader Lali said, “PUSU member Resham Godara, who is now one of the accused, has also suffered from a multiple skull fracture. Yet, he was taken to the police station from the PGI on Saturday morning. The arrests should have been made after a fair inquiry.”
PUSU spokesperson Tejinder Singh said, “In addition to booking Resham Godara on a cooked-up complaint, a fake case has also been registered against our campus president, Navaldeep. Naval was not even present on campus at the time of the incident. He had hired a cab to come from Sector 20 to PGI to meet Resham. He was targeted since he had been involved in a heated argument with Sector 11 SHO Narinder Patial.”
Tejinder added, “None of our members were carrying arms. We cannot afford them. None of our members even fired shots. We demand justice.”
“Our rival parties held a joint meeting to protest in support of a student who has named in the FIR. They should leave it to relevant agencies investigating the matter. If they have any evidence regarding his innocence, it must be placed before the investigation agency.”
Senior SOI leader and senate contestant Simranjit Singh Dhillon said, “Members of other parties are conspiring to mislead investigation. They are supporting hooligans, outsiders and criminals who have again tried to disturb the peaceful atmosphere on the campus.”