In yet another incident of lawlessness on the Panjab University campus, supporters of the Panjab University Students’ Union and the Gandhi Group Students’ Union allegedly attacked NSUI workers, leaving one of them injured, although not seriously, and also vandalised three cars on Thursday.
The police registered a case against 10 persons, all students except a girl, on charges of causing hurt, wrongful restraint, criminal intimidation and rioting with deadly weapons. Chief patron of the National Students’ Union of India Simranjeet Kaur Gill lodged a separate complaint of misbehaviour against them.
The incident comes a day after the university authorities wrote to the administration and the police, requesting them to fix a date for holding student council elections in the first week of September. Already, nine incidents of violence have taken place on the campus, and the police had stated that it would not allow elections if violence did not stop.
Chief Security Officer Jatinder Grover, who described Thursday’s incident as unfortunate, said the authorities would hold a meeting on Friday to strengthen security arrangements.
The incident occurred around 1.30 pm outside Kasturba Girls Hostel Hostel nos 3 and 4, where some girls from NSUI were sitting on a hunger strike, demanding better hostel facilities. NSUI leaders Manoj Lubana and Baldeep Singh stood nearby while Sanjeev Billa sat in his car.
Suddenly, PUSU and GGSU supporters surrounded Billa’s vehicle with iron rods, baseballs bats and sickles. Manoj Lubana and Baldeep Singh managed to flee while Billa was injured. The PUSU and GGSU youths then damaged their cars. Before the police arrived, they fled.
Lubana said, “There was a clash last night between PUSU and NSUI supporters where a car was vandalised. Today, they came to kill us, but somehow we escaped.”
SHO of the Sector 11 police station Malkit Singh said, “We have registered an FIR against 10 persons. Only a girl, who was an outsider, has been identified. Another FIR has been registered on the basis of a complaint submitted by Simranjit on the charges of criminal intimidation and performing an obscene act in a public place.’’
Police said that they arrested nine students in connection with the past incidents, but they all got bail. On July 30, two students leaders were arrested. Then on July 31, seven student leaders were booked by the police, namely Meet Jatana, Ricky Palsora, Rashpal Hakuwala, Sarwan Dhillon, Khushdeep, Sukhdeep and Bunty Dhaliwal for rioting, unlawful assembly, injuring a public servant on duty and criminal intimidation.
15 PARTIES TO SLUG IT OUT
This year, as many as 15 students organisations are preparing to contest the election. Over the last two months, they have been holding demonstrations, dharnas, rallies and car and bike rallies on the campus to show their strength which, sometimes, leads to clashes. These organisations are Youth Organisation of India, Himachal Pradesh Students’ Union, Gandhi Group Students’ Union, Students’ Organisation of India, Indian National Students’ Organisation, National Students’ Union of India, Panjab University Students’ Union, Students’ Organisation of Panjab University, Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, Students’ Federation of India, Students for Society, Hindustan Students’ Association, Himachal Pradesh Association, National Students’ Organisation, and Himachal Pradesh Students’ Association.