Panjab University gears up to control campus violence

July 31st, 2010 - 4:29 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh Chandigarh, July 31 (IANS) Marred by increasing incidents of violence involving student leaders of rival political parties, Panjab University (PU) here is set to introduce stringent measures to curb them.
According to Chandigarh police records, at least 33 criminal cases related to violence involving PU’s rival political groups have been registered and over 90 people have been arrested or detained for questioning since 2005.

Most of the brawls at the PU campus occur because of election-related issues. Hence, the PU officials have issued directions that elections, usually held in September, will be cancelled if any such incident happens.

“We are worried about the increasing incidents of violence in the campus and are making every effort to control them. We have made it clear that no election in the Panjab University will be allowed if even a single violent incident is reported,” PU’s Dean Students’ Welfare (DSW), Naval Kishore, told IANS here Saturday.

“We have advised students leaders of political parties to shun violence by keeping themselves away from personal disputes and unlawful activities. Elections will be held only if students ensure peaceful and conducive atmosphere on the campus,” he added.

A meeting in this regard was held at PU Friday that was attended by representatives of all the students’ organisations, hostel wardens, Chandigarh police officials and DSW.

There are at least five students’ political groups active in the PU campus. They are, Panjab University Students’ Union (PUSU), Students’ Organisation of Panjab University (SOPU), Indian National Students Organisation (INSO), National Students Union of India (NSUI) and Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP).

On Thursday, police even arrested five people from the PU campus and recovered one air-gun and some sharp-edged weapons from their possession.

The PU authorities have also decided to launch a campaign to keep a tab on the number of outsiders residing illegally in its hostels.

“We will be conducting surprise checks at the hostels. If any outsider is found residing with any student in the hostel - without permission of the warden, then the student will be expelled from the hostel,” Kishore said.

PU, one of the oldest varsities in the country, is the alma mater of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and of many senior bureaucrats and politicians.

Over 10,000 students study in around 65 research and teaching departments of PU - spread over 550 acres of land.

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