Shimla: Violence erupted today at Himachal Pradesh University after students affiliated to Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarti Parishad (ABVP) and Students Federation of India (SFI) clashed in the morning hours.
Police was requisitioned and had to intervene in the group clash that saw exchange of blows and stone pelting leaving several students being injured.
To curtail political activities on the campus, the university authorities decided to dissolve the Student Central Association (SCA), an elected body dominated by SFI. A room allotted to SCA was sealed the facilities provided were withdrawn.
“For maintaining law and order, charge of the university boys hostel has been handed over to police,” said ADN Baipai, vice chancellor of HPU.
“Action would be taken those found indulging in violence,” he said adding, “the university would not hesitate to annul the degrees of those found involved in group clashes.”
Being sympathetic towards those who could not appear for an entrance examination scheduled for Monday, the vice chancellor said that they would be given another chance to appear for the competitive examination.
Kaul Negi, district secretary ABVP, alleged that the leftist oriented SFI had attacked their members with sharp edged weapons without any provocation in a pre-planned manner.
“Our campus secretary Navneet Kaushal and vice president Naresh Dashta have sustained serious injuries that included fractures and spine injury and have been hospitalized,”
He said ABVP had lodged an FIR naming SFI campus president Puneet Dhanta, SCA vice president Vikram Kaith, Hoshiyar Singh, Jeeta Singh and other ativists in the police complaint.
Negi blamed SFI for resorting to unprovoked violence and of providing unauthorized residents residence at the boys hostels.
He also claimed that Tikender Panwar, a CPI(M) member and deputy mayor of Shimla Municipal Corporation was on the campus yesterday to conduct the general house of SFI students at Tagore hostel.
When contacted, Panwar denied having anything to do with the students violence. “All allegations against me are baseless. I was on the campus yesterday along with the Chief Justice of Himachal Pradesh High Court and the Chief Minister only to attend a function, said Panwar.
Khushi Verma, SFI secretary, alleged that ABVP activists were the ones resorting to violence and could be openly seen carrying weapons on the campus.
Verma said “it is a cleverly planned ploy hatched by ABVP members with the vice chancellor to discredit SFI and have a perfect alibi to dissolve the SCA.
Given the growing influence of SFI on the campus, especially winning the SCA elections for many years successively, the university authorities are intend to do away with holding of elections altogether, said Verma.
Violence on the campus at Summer Hill had led to closure of all boys hostels on June 14, last year. When the matter was taken to court, the High Court had taken a tough posture, ordering all students to vacate the hostels before a police search was conducted. Later hostels were only allocated in August.