NSUI – SFI clash leaves Himachal Pradesh University tense

Shimla: Vice-chancellor designate ADN Bajpai would have to hit the ground running as violence erupted on Himachal University campus on Sunday that has left five students nursing injuries.

The new VC administrative skills would be put to test right away as tension prevails on the campus and heavy police is deployed to prevent further violence.

Trouble started on Sunday morning when there was an argument between two students belonging to different outfits over putting up posters on the campus.

Communist backed Students Federation of India (SFI) and congress supported National Students Union of India (NSUI) students were out in trying to canvass university aspirants to join their organization as entrance examinations to law school and admissions to other departments got underway.

City police chief Sonal Agnihotri said that police was called in and the matter was sorted out.

However, it was in the afternoon at 3 p.m. that the two outfits ganged up and started pelting each other with stones outside a hostel complex and physical violence broke out. Four student of NSUI and one from SFI sustained injures, said the police officer.

The injured were treated at IGMC hospital. An FIR by Yedupati Thakur, NSUI president who was injured in the clash and another one by Anil of SFI involving sections 147, 149, 341 and 323 IPC have been registered at Boieulganj police station.

Protest at HPU

Tension prevailed on the campus through the day on Monday as both NSUI and SFI staged rallies at the same spot and at the same time.

The show of strength was contained by police forming a human chain to prevent the two outfits from clashing, said Agnihotri.

The rally’s have been held in defiance of High Court orders, which has decreed that no rally would be allowed within 200 meters of the campus.

Placing the records of students found involved in violence earlier also and defying prohibitory orders are ground for moving contempt of court proceedings against the those involved in the campus violence as well as holding of a rally, which the police was considering, said Agnihotri.

Due to the tense environment, the university administration has cancelled the annual prize distribution function slated to be held on Tuesday.

It was only on Friday that Governor Urmila Singh announced appointment of ADN Bajpai, a professor of economics at Rani Durgavati University, Jabalpur (MP) as the new Vice-chancellor of Himachal Pradesh University.

Bajpai, who is yet to join up, replaces SK Gupta at HPU whose tenure stood completed on 9th April.

Photo by Amit Kanwar

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1 Comment

  1. says: Vikram S Thakur

    There should be zero tolerance for violence at educational institutions. HP University is notorious for ugly confrontations between various factions active on its campus. It becomes dangerous for those students who are residing in hostels. They are forced to align with one or the other organisation. if they do not follow suit, they are ostracized. I have had first hand experience of this nonsense going on all the time at many hostels. At times those who want to study hard are forced to look for rented accommodation in the town, which in turn leads to commuting hassles.
    The University administration turns a blind eye to whatever goes on on its premises at the whims of the ruling party in the state. The solution to put an end to this anarchy on the Summerhill campus is to ban the SCA elections forever. If this happens, the rogue elements will not have any kind of platform to thrive on. HP University can be a leader in education if right kind of atmosphere is created for the students.
    The onus also lies on the various political parties to stop patronizing student political outfits. They are the ones responsible for all the hooliganism on the campuses of various educational institutions in the state. At the same time students who are found guilty of involvement in such activities should not be let out with a warning, but instead should be held responsible for their actions and tried according to the law. This will deter others.
    I know there is a police picket on the campus. But a couple of police officials are just helpless in front of marauding elements in the hostels. There should be large police presence on the campus at all times so as to prevent any misadventure by anybody. They should be rotated from time to time to make sure they don’t get influenced by one organisation or the other. I have seen this happen. They are so scared of the student leaders that belong to the ruling party that sometimes it erodes their confidence in dealing with the situation with conviction.
    I request the new VC not to see things with a periscopic vision and to be a no nonsense official. He is the leader of all students, irrespective of their political affiliations. He should lead from the front and make it clear to one and all that no bad behaviour will be tolerated on his watch. It is the right time for him to set standards as he is new. He should pick and choose carefully as the faculty and the staff at the University are heavily inflenced by the state politics. But, I am an optimist and am sure he can still find the right people for the right job.

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